Windekind: A Novel by Mark Lavine Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A grieving husband hoping to give himself and his young son a fresh start after their loss finds himself caught between two warring criminal organizations in the wooded community he moves to in Vermont in author Mark Lavine’s “Windekind: A Novel”.


The Synopsis

After the tragic death of his young wife, Sam Thibeau and his eight-year-old son Harry move from California to a co-housing community deep in the Vermont woods, where they hope to leave behind their painful memories and start over in an unfamiliar land of snow and maple syrup.

Just as they’re settling in, Sam comes across a series of strange clues and messages which appear to be meant just for him. The clues lead to what at first appears to be a financial windfall, but before long he finds himself caught between a Mexican cartel and a drug-running syndicate based in nearby Montreal.

Left with no other choice, he enlists the aid of Cindy Yates, a local police detective, who not only helps him begin the healing of old wounds, but also has an idea for a way out of his predicament. Together, they attempt a daring scheme to turn the tables on the cartel and free Sam and his son from its deadly reach.

Looking for peace and quiet in the Vermont countryside? You won’t find it here in this fast-paced thriller that’ll have you up late turning the pages.

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The Review

This was a captivating and engaging crime thriller. The harrowing experiences the protagonist endures and the dynamic setting were brilliant marks in which the reader could get invested immediately. The layering of the criminal activities and the mystery surrounding this commune the protagonist finds himself living in, as well as the mystery surrounding its inhabitants, made this story really come to life on the page. 

To me, the author found a really special balance of captivating character development, a rich setting, and dynamic imagery within the author’s writing that tied all of this together. The chemistry the protagonist found with Cindy and the complicated relationship he develops with her as he continues to mourn his wife’s loss yet still feels himself being pulled closer and closer to her makes for some stellar character arcs, and an emotional undercoat beneath the adrenaline-fueled crime story. The woods of Vermont have never felt more alive than in this thriller and kept drawing the reader in more and more.

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The Verdict

Driven, captivating, and engaging, author Mark Lavine’s “Windekind” is a must-read crime thriller. The narrative, character growth and interactions, and stellar setting all reminded me of the rich stories found in the Fargo film and subsequent series. The blend of small-town life and ordinary people caught in chilling crime settings and set in a small, northern town made this compelling narrative that readers will be hard-pressed to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Mark Lavine is the author of four novels: Dr Prozac, ForeverChild, Victimless Crimes, and Windekind. He lives in the mountains of Vermont with his wife, daughter, and King Charles Spaniel (Luna). Luna follows him tirelessly on his many hikes and cross-country skis through the woods near his home. Luna sleeps tirelessly while Mark spends a few hours of every day working on his next book. He also loves to play classical piano, and Beethoven in particular. To get acquainted with his work, Mark recommends ForeverChild for scifi fans, and Windekind for thriller fans.


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