This Thing Between Us: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Perfect for fans of King and haunted house stories, Moreno’s grapple with grief is an unforgettable one. There haven’t been many books in recent years that have scared me as much as this book did. An uneasy feeling stayed with me the entire time and there were moments where I actually had to put the book down because I was overwhelmed. Not for the casual reader, Moreno’s book will invade your brain and your thoughts for days to come.

— Jesse


“As original as it is affecting . . . left me genuinely creeped out, unsettled, and shaken. An existentially frightening book.”
—Paul Tremblay, author of Survivor Song

“Hold on, this isn’t a ride, it’s a slide, and it doesn’t care whether you’re ready or not.”
—Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Only Good Indians

A widower battles his grief, rage, and the mysterious evil inhabiting his home smart speaker, in this mesmerizing horror thriller from Gus Moreno.

It was Vera’s idea to buy the Itza. The “world’s most advanced smart speaker!” didn’t interest Thiago, but Vera thought it would be a bit of fun for them amidst all the strange occurrences happening in the condo. It made things worse. The cold spots and scratching in the walls were weird enough, but peculiar packages started showing up at the house—who ordered industrial lye? Then there was the eerie music at odd hours, Thiago waking up to Itza projecting light shows in an empty room.

It was funny and strange right up until Vera was killed, and Thiago’s world became unbearable. Pundits and politicians all looking to turn his wife’s death into a symbol for their own agendas. A barrage of texts from her well-meaning friends about letting go and moving on. Waking to the sound of Itza talking softly to someone in the living room . . .

The only thing left to do was get far away from Chicago. Away from everything and everyone. A secluded cabin in Colorado seemed like the perfect place to hole up with his crushing grief. But soon Thiago realizes there is no escape—not from his guilt, not from his simmering rage, and not from the evil hunting him, feeding on his grief, determined to make its way into this world.

A bold, original horror novel about grief, loneliness and the oppressive intimacy of technology, This Thing Between Us marks the arrival of a spectacular new talent.

About the Author

Gus Moreno is the author of This Thing Between Us. His stories have appeared in Aurealis, Pseudopod, Bluestem Magazine, and the Burnt Tongues anthology. He lives in the suburbs with his wife and dogs, but never think that he's not from Chicago for one second.

Praise For…

“Gus Moreno’s This Thing Between Us is as original as it is affecting. It is a meditation on grief and on what it means to belong, and there were scenes that left me genuinely creeped out, unsettled, and shaken. An existentially frightening book. Count me as a fan.”
—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Survivor Song

“The worst kind of grief, technology that activates all your paranoia, and a line between madness and sanity that’s so blurry as to not even matter . . . Hold on, this isn’t a ride, it’s a slide, and it doesn’t care whether you’re ready or not.”
—Stephen Graham Jones, bestselling author of The Only Good Indians

"In graceful prose peppered with terrifyingly vivid descriptions, Moreno gives a nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey to explore the perils of technology while probing the all-too-human complexities of grief. The devastating result marks Moreno as a horror writer to watch."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A horror tale of hair-raising hairpin curves! You won’t be able to guess where Gus Moreno’s cool, weird journey is taking you. Funny, scary, and utterly heartbreaking.”
—Andy Davidson, author of The Boatman’s Daughter

"Bone-chilling . . . Moreno makes clever use of structure to maximize dread, opening with Vera’s funeral and then doubling back, while references to famous horror novels and films trick readers into thinking they’re following a familiar path before the tragic plot veers wildly off-map. Harrowing existential horror that lingers like a nightmare."
Kirkus, starred review

"A gorgeously gory journey through madness and grief that I found impossible to put down. Moreno's manipulation of reality is mesmerizing, twisting the protagonist and the reader up in a nightmare of modern day horrors and long-told stories of the boogeyman. It's been a long time since I've felt so engrossed and terrified. Drawing the curtains closed won't help, Thiago's demons are already in your brain!"
—Rachel Eve Moulton, author of Tinfoil Butterfly

"An original new voice in cosmic horror . . . Readers will eagerly follow Thiago and the increasingly weird twists and turns that escalate from unsettlingly haunting to uncomfortably creepy, and ultimately arrive at mind-altering terror . . . Much like the very best of twenty-first-century cosmic horror such as The Fisherman by John Langan or The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher."
—Becky Spratford, Booklist

This Thing Between Us brings the very real horrors of living in the world into blazing contact with a supernatural strangeness that refuses to be subsumed into any pattern we can categorize, dissect, and exorcize. In Gus Moreno’s strong, original first novel, reality floats over a void, always threatening to seep out and engulf us.”
—Brian Evenson, author of Song for the Unraveling of the World

“Dazzling . . . From its first, startling line, the narrative wraps the reader in graceful prose that refuses to let go until the striking end. Moreno has written a fine, fine book, one I am glad to recommend.”
—John Langan, author of Children of the Fang and Other Genealogies

"Powerful . . . creepy and engaging, this work will make an impactful addition to horror sections."
Library Journal

“Get ready to throw your electronic virtual assistant out the window! Gus Moreno’s creepy, atmospheric, darkly funny novel will have you side-eyeing your Alexa, thanks to a tech-tinged story about grief, the afterlife, and demonic disturbances. This Thing Between Us is terrifying and unputdownable, with a likable, grounded narrator who pulls back the curtain on the other side, only to reveal something truly unnerving. An unforgettable debut.”
—Jamey Bradbury, author of The Wild Inside

This Thing Between Us is an unsettling, visceral, harrowing descent into loss, madness, and suffering. While there are moments of peace, humor, and reflection scattered throughout this dark journey, Gus Moreno has cast a spell that I’m still trying to shake off. It’s Come Closer meets Angel Heart with a dash of Dante’s Inferno.”
—Richard Thomas, author of Disintegration and Breaker

Product Details
ISBN: 9780374539238
ISBN-10: 0374539235
Publisher: MCD x FSG Originals
Publication Date: October 12th, 2021
Pages: 272
Language: English