cover image This Thing Between Us

This Thing Between Us

Gus Moreno. MCD X Fsg Originals, $17 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-374-53923-8

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.)