Kari James spends most of her time at her favorite spot in Denver, a bar called White Horse. There, she tries her best to ignore her past and the questions surrounding her mother who abandoned her when she was just two years old. But soon after her cousin Debby brings her a traditional bracelet that once belonged to Kari's mother, Kari starts seeing disturbing visions of her mother and a mysterious creature. When the visions refuse to go away, Kari must uncover what really happened to her mother all those years ago.
Twisty and electric ... As a character, Kari — who is an urban Indian of Apache and Chickasaw descent — is terrifically alive. She is blunt, loyal and dogged ... Wurth handles the suspense with an expert hand. The novel unfolds in short, tense chapters that glide between past and present, and often torque into hair-raising turns. As I read Wurth’s vivid, direct sentences, I felt the terror creep off the page and across my skin ... The most compelling hauntings are less about the ghost itself and more about the hidden realities that are ushered out into the light ... It would be a disservice to readers to reveal much more here, but the novel has potent things to say about how trauma reverberates throughout generations and how very often the most unimaginable violence is alarmingly close to home ... Smart, spunky, scary, and thoroughly metal.
... belongs to the new wave of horror fiction that delivers the creepiness and darkness readers have always associated with the genre, while also packing plenty of social commentary ... Also — and perhaps more importantly — White Horse is a horror novel that subverts one of the elements at the core of the genre from the beginning: Instead of the writer being someone who is afraid of the other, the writer is the other ... Wurth does many things well in White Horse. The dialogue is snappy and to the point and the descriptions are short and effective. Also, the story hits the ground running and builds as it moves forward, but it never slows down and there is no time wasted on long setups or introducing every character. Instead, readers get to know everyone involved organically as the narrative moves forward. The result is a 320-page novel that's an easy, fast read and that almost demands to be devoured in a single sitting ... Wurth brings Denver and a few nearby towns to the page with authenticity. Her identity is clearly a lens through which the narrative is told, keeping the history of Native Americans in the area, and in the entire United States, present at all times ... a quintessentially Denver novel that does for that area of Colorado what the work of James Ellroy has done for Los Angeles or what Philip Roth's oeuvre did for Newark ... Wurth has created a strong Urban Native character, and in the process — and while talking about the folklore of various tribes and the American Indian Movement — has pushed against narratives that perpetuate Native American clichés, which makes this a must-read.
Wurth creates a compelling world that feels so real it’s easy to forget you’re reading a work of fiction. She allows readers to truly get inside Kari’s head, and they will ache for her as she leaves no stone unturned in her investigation. White Horse is a must-read for anyone fond of ghost stories and the horror genre, as Wurth’s voice is both authentic and insistent.