Winter Wolves of Haden County

Welcome to Haden County, in Southern Illinois, geographically and philosophically much closer to Kentucky than to Chicago, and known for top-notch horse stock.

There are 102 counties in Illinois. Cook County, home to sprawling Chicago and legendary Democratic political machines, holds a great deal less sway Downstate, where conservative Republican farmers ruled. Downstate is a slight misnomer. Downstate begins where city asphalt peters into the cropland cloaking the rest of Illinois seamlessly into Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Kentucky.

Despite disparate populations, each county boasts about 29 county commissioners. Noteworthy in Haden is a uniquely popular Democrat, William Wolf, is president of the county commissioners. This is far more unusual than a Democratic governor, which there is at this moment.

Nevertheless, it still seems unlikely Commissioner Wolf would be under consideration for Lieutenant Governor, as his step-daughter claims in the opening chapter of “The Winter Wolves of Haden County.”

“He’s here,” she reports on the governor in a text to Kyle Grosen. The teenagers have been playmates since toddler-hood, Kyle the son of Haden’s state’s attorney. They’d played together, then completed homework side by side in various styled cloak rooms and back rooms of their parents’ parties and meetings. Neither doubted for a moment that they would follow in their parents footsteps.

Read the full story of “The Winter Wolves of Haden County” here.




Viki Volk

Firstborn of amateur parents and born nosy. Addicted at an early age to fiction, to stories. Result: habitual reporter, sometimes so employed. Other times employed in pipe dreams and marsh life. Commentary on some of that collected below. First novel due out the end of 2023: "Murder First, Then Slander."

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