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White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

White Horse


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Erika T. Wurth, on your first book!

by Erika T. Wurth

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Quick take

This no-nonsense, heavy-metal-obsessed Indigenous woman is determined to confront family ghosts even if it kills her.

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  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Supernatural


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Rugged


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Snarky



Some people are haunted in more ways than one.

Heavy metal, ripped jeans, Stephen King novels, and the occasional beer at the White Horse have defined urban Indian Kari James’s life so far. But when her cousin Debby finds an old family bracelet that once belonged to Kari’s mother, it inadvertently calls up both her mother’s ghost and a monstrous entity, and her willful ignorance about her past is no longer sustainable . . .

Haunted by visions of her mother and hunted by this mysterious creature, Kari must search for what happened to her mother all those years ago. Her father, permanently disabled from a car crash, can’t help her. Her Auntie Squeaker seems to know something but isn’t eager to give it all up at once. Debby’s anxious to help, but her controlling husband keeps getting in the way. Kari’s journey toward a truth long denied by both her family and law enforcement forces her to confront her dysfunctional relationships, thoughts about a friend she lost in childhood, and her desire for the one thing she’s always wanted but could never have.

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Content warning

This book contains mentions of child abuse.

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of White Horse.
White Horse


There was something strange, mysterious even, about the White Horse tonight. Normally, it was merely an Indian bar. My Indian bar. But there was a milky, dreamy quality to the red lights swinging over the pool tables, like the wind from the open doors was bringing them something new, something I’d pushed away for as long as I could remember.

“Debby, do we have to talk about her again?” I took another swig of my beer and slammed it back down, eyeing my cousin as I did. She would never let this subject go, no matter how much I rebuffed her. I sighed, taking in the dank, wet-wood smell of the bar, the harsh laughter of the bikers in the booth behind me.

“The thing is, I found— ”

I interrupted her with a brush of my hand.

I hoped Nick, the bartender, would come by and ask if I needed a refill, but all I could see was the mirror in front of me, the words Miller High Life emblazoned in gold cursive on the front. Right next to it a sign read, FIRST FIGHT. LAST DRINK. PERMANENT 86. Besides us, the bartender, and the bikers, the White Horse was empty. It was always empty, but I loved it. I loved the long wooden bar, the cats wandering in and out; the mangy orange one was my favorite. She liked to sit on top of the bar and let me pet her while she closed her cloudy eyes and purred.

Debby shifted her weight on the stool, the plastic crackling as she did, the bar stirring around me like a bad dream.

“All I’m saying is that you don’t know your mom’s story.”

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Why I love it

White Horse is the kind of book that your cousin who wears a leather jacket year-round and brings a flask to the family reunion might write. In other words, it is very very cool and will give you just the right amount of heebiejeebies. Smell the pages—do you catch that whiff of whisky stains and old cigarettes?

At the center of this novel is Kari James, an urban Indian woman who has been mainlining Stephen King and heavy metal for a few decades and most nights can be found nursing a beer at the watering hole that gives this novel its name. Then one day Kari’s cousin bequeaths to her a family heirloom, and suddenly all manner of ghosts—past, present, and future—begin making their presence known. This turn of events sends Kari on a hunt for answers—most importantly of all, why her mother disappeared when she was just a child.

Erika T. Wurth has written a book that is every bit as fierce and complex as the monsters that populate your imagination. More, she has shown the ways that wounds personal, familial, and societal fester and grow when hidden. Perhaps the scariest game in town is our own history. But books like White Horse might just be the tool we need to properly confront and ward off unwelcome spirits.

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Member ratings (8,761)

  • Marissa M.

    Lehigh Acres, FL

    Loved everything about it: supernatural horror, heavy metal ???????? bad-assery, Native lore… and Stephen King’s The Shining. Highly recommend… gave it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ & passed it along to a fellow horror fan.

  • Olivia G.

    Brooklyn, NY

    Wow. Absolutely stunning, beautifully sad, and I absolutely could not put it down. White Horse transported me, helped me understand something I will never understand. Poignant and beautiful ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Lauren I.

    Essex Junction, VT

    This dark, witty & I’ll say it, ❤️warming novel, is a perfect fall read. It addresses strength, family, guilt, grief & love w Indigenous culture interwoven. Kari is the indigenous boss b*tch we needed

  • Allison A.

    Bradley, ME

    You know it’s a good book when you finish quick! I’m not a fast reader but when I complete a book in 3 days it’s a good one! Loved the mix of horror, suspense, historical elements, and family drama!

  • Myrrhynda N.

    Depew, NY

    I didn’t start out loving this book and I kind of sort of knew what happened but wasn’t 100% sure, but once I got about 60% in I couldnt put this book down. Slower build but worth the wait in the end.

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