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This thing between us
2021
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Brief Descriptions

When his wife is killed, Thiago, with politicians all looking to turn her death into a symbol for their own agendas, holes up in a secluded cabin in Colorado where he cannot escape from the evil feeding on his grief and rage, determined to make its way into this world. Original. - (Baker & Taylor)

"A widower battles his grief, rage, and the mysterious evil inhabiting his home smart speaker, in this mesmerizing horror thriller from newcomer Gus Moreno"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

“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.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

Author Biography

Gus Moreno's stories have appeared in Aurealis, PseudoPod, Bluestem Magazine, and the anthology Burnt Tongues. He lives in the suburbs with his wife and dogs, but never think for one second that he's not from Chicago. - (McMillan Palgrave)

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Reviews Via Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly Reviews

A man struggles to maintain his sanity following the death of his wife in Moreno's raw, haunting debut. Random cold spots and scratching noises in the walls are just a few of the strange incidents that Thiago Alvarez and his wife, Vera, notice upon moving into their Chicago condo. The incidents only worsen with the arrival of Vera's new smart speaker, the Itza: weird packages, including industrial-strength lye and a book on contacting the dead, begin arriving at their home; music plays at odd hours; and the Itza is heard having conversations in otherwise empty rooms. When Vera dies in an accident, Thiago is left reeling. Unable to cope with his overwhelming grief, he leaves Chicago for a cabin in Colorado. But despite his newfound isolation, Thiago can't run from his feelings of loss and rage. Plagued by dreams that tear at the seams of reality, Thiago's paranoia nears its breaking point as an unrelenting evil force follows him, feeding off of his distress. 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. Agent: Annie Bomke, Annie Bomke Literary. (Oct.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

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