This Thing Between Us, a neck-hair-stand-up cuycuy horror

Gus Moreno’s debut novel.

Cory Doctorow


The cover for Gus Moreno’s ‘This Thing Between Us.

Gus Moreno’s debut novel, “This Thing Between Us,” is a genuinely creepy supernatural horror novel, a book that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and prompted me to turn on the nightlight at bedtime.

I almost didn’t read it. It’s billed as a book about a widower whose smart-speaker is haunted by his wife’s ghost, which sounds gimmicky and foolish, but that’s a very poor summary indeed.

Thiago is the book’s narrator, and as described, he’s a widower. Vera, his wife, was way out of his league. She was a finance industry striver from a driven Mexican-American family.

Thiago’s also Mexican-American, but his family is anything but driven; he wasn’t so much raised as abused, and his dad and uncles were marginally employed and frequently incarcerated — the kind of family Vera’s folks despise for giving them a bad name.

But Thiago and Vera made it work in their weird, tiny apartment in a gentrifying Boston neighborhood — right up until Vera is accidentally killed in a botched robbery on public transit.

When we meet Thiago, he’s numbly going through the motions at Vera’s funeral, narrating it…