Peaceable Kingdom

This landmark collection gathers more than thirty of Jack Ketchum’s most thrilling stories. Two of them, Gone and The Box, were awarded the prestigious Bram Stoker Award, and three, including the novella Closing Time, are original to this book. Whether you are already familiar with Ketchum’s unique brand of suspense or are experiencing it for the first time, here is a book no aficionado of fear can do without.



  • Introduction
  • The Rifle
  • The Box
  • Mail Order
  • Luck
  • The Haunt
  • Megan’s Law
  • If Memory Serves
  • Father and Son
  • The Business
  • Mother and Daughter
  • When the Penny Drops
  • Rabid Squirrels in Love
  • Sundays
  • Twins
  • Amid the Walking Wounded
  • The Great San Diego Sleazy Bimbo Massacre
  • The Holding Cell
  • The Work
  • The Best
  • Redemption
  • The Exit at Toledo Blade Boulevard
  • Chain Letter
  • Forever
  • Gone
  • Closing Time
  • The Rose
  • The Turning
  • To Suit the Crime
  • Lines: or Like Franco, Elvis is Still Dead
  • The Visitor
  • Snakes
  • Firedance
  • Afterword

She Wakes

This version contains the author’s preferred text.


Greece. Ancient land of mystery, legend and myth. It is here that businessman Jordan Chase visits an historic tomb, only to experience a dark vision of the future. And it is here, amidst the beauty of the landscape, that Lelia, a gorgeous but dangerous woman, befriends a group of tourists…to lure them into a nightmare of pain and terror. She lives to seduce and destroy, to feed off her human prey. Lelia is more than myth, more than superstition. Lelia is deadly.


Broken on the Wheel of Sex (Ultra Edition)

Delirium Press released this edition of 26 copies as part of their “Ultra” series. Contains the extra Stroup story The Old Days, and four non-fiction pieces written for men’s magazines. Does not contain The Making of a Religious Cult, which appeared in the lettered edition from Sideshow Press.



  • Introduction
  • The Hang Up
  • The Heat
  • Skin Game
  • The Burn Artist
  • The Rubdown
  • Never Trust a Smart Cunt with Two First Names
  • Fish
  • Old Men Dancing
  • The Liar
  • The French
  • The Christmas Caller
  • East Side Story
  • Dead Heat
  • The Old Days
  • Ugly George: Cable TV’s Prince of Pickup (non-fiction)
  • Welcome to the Chateau (non-fiction)
  • Flashers and Freaks (non-fiction)
  • Bad Girls, Sad Girls in the Heart of Disco (non-fiction)



First U.S. edition of Red.

The old man hears them before he sees them, the three boys coming over the hill, disturbing the peace by the river where he’s fishing. He smells the gun oil, too much oil on a brand-new shotgun. These aren’t hunters, they’re rich kids who don’t care about the river and the fish and the old man.


Or his dog.


Red is the name of the old man’s dog, his best friend in the world And when the boys shoot the dog – for nothing, for simple spite – he sees red, like a mist before his eyes.


And before the whole hing is done there’ll be more red.


Red for blood…

Right To Life and Two Stories

When Sara Foster is kidnapped in front of an abortion clinic in broad daylight, taken off a busy Manhattan street by a pair of total strangers – Stephen and Katherine Teach – she is three months pregnant wth her married lover’s child.


Her abductors seem to know that. They also seem to know where she lives, where she teachers, where she was born, who her lover is – even where her father plays golf on the weekends. They tell her about a mysterious worldwide Organization devoted to white slavery and what happens to those slaves who try to run away. What happens to their families and those they love.


That’s what Sara is now. Their slave.


They show her what happens if she tries to disobey.


She sleeps in a coffin-like box in the basement.


She’s fed according to their whim. Abused according to their whim.


They involve her in a brutal murder.


That’s just the beginning. Because Stephen and Katherine Teach have terrible plans for Sara.


And her baby.


Like his novels JoyrideStrangleholdThe Girl Next Door, and CoverRight To Life is a descent into madness and human evil which is all the more harrowing because it’s based on fact. Sara’s ordeal really happened to somebody just like you and me and it’s one that is vividly rendered. So consider yourself warned. This is disturbing graphic writing.


Not for the timid.


Like life.


This edition contains two additional stories.



  • Right To Life
  • Brave Girl
  • Returns

The Lost

It was the summer of 1965. Ray, Tim and Jennifer were just three teenage friends hanging out in the campgrounds, drinking a little. But Tim and Jennifer didn’t know what their friend Ray had in mind. And if they’d known they wouldn’t have thought he was serious. Then they saw what he did to the two girls at the neighboring campsite – and knew he was dead serious.


Four years later, the Sixties were drawing to a close. No one ever charged Ray with the murders in the campgrounds, but there was one cop determined to make him pay. Ray figured he was in the clear. Tim and Jennifer thought the worst was behind them, that the horrors were all in the past. They were wrong. The worst was yet to come.

Hide and Seek

I don’t believe in omens, but I think you can know when you’re in trouble.


Thus begins Jack Ketchum’s riveting second novel Hide and Seek.


It’s a book about games. Reckless, dangerous games. Games you might even want to play yourself if you’re with the right people. But shouldn’t. Not ever…


Dead River’s a sleepy little town on the coast of Maine without much going for it. The Great Depression hit hard and never let go. Even now, sixty-odd years later, there’s not much to do, not much going on. So that when a trio of friends, rich college kids, arrive there on a forced march with their parents for summer vacation they have to make their own amusements. And they do, in spades.


Dan’s a local and didn’t get a chance to go to college. There was never the money. He works in a lumberyard hauling two-by-fours and furring around all day with a forklift. He’s even more bored than he knows.


When the college kids arrive, that changes.


The most daring of the three is a beautiful, troubled girl named Casey. She’s not opposed to stealing caviar or cars or running around naked in graveyards. For Casey the thrill’s the thing and the riskier the better.


Dan falls for her, hard. And gradually becomes the fourth member of the group the poor relation.


But games need escalation. It’s a need that finds them at last in an old abandoned house at night, a house reputed to be haunted, where phantom lights burn in broken windows. Where something lurks waiting in the dark…


In 1985 the war in Vietnam had been over for ten years. A lot of people were trying to forget it. Not Jack Ketchum. Having never Been There, he was busy researching the hell out of it – aided by confidants and friends – for what was to be his third published novel, Cover


Ketchum’s fix on the war was typically minimalist. Take one battle-haunted veteran, a good, tough honest man whose grip on reality is rapidly disintegrating now that his wife and son have left him, living alone in the woods, in deep forest, trying to stay peaceful and simply outlast his demons. Then intrude upon his fragile world a group of weekend campers. A Mailer-esque world-famous novelist. His wife. His mistress. His agent. A Rolling Stone photographer. A jealous friend.


Mix and shake.


A limited edition from Gauntlet Press, If purchased from the publisher, it also came with the Ephemera chapbook featuring poems written during 1969, and the Selections CD featuring excerpts from Cover, read by Ketchum.


Off Season: The Unexpurgated Edition

This edition restores cuts made for the original Ballantine paperback edition.


From the Afterword:


“I have very few regrets as a writer…A particularly graceless line here and there. An occasional bad edit. And that’s about it except for what happened to Off Season. What happened, exactly, was negotiation.


When Marc Jaffe at Ballantine bought the book it was on the condition that I’d be willing to rewrite. And I was. Of course I was. It was my first novel and I was delighted to have the contract. Did they think I was crazy? I’d rewrite in a minute. We were all very much aware that the book was over-the-top violence-wise, that it had the kind of teeth pretty much unseen before in mass-market fiction. It was just that quality that they were buying. But I knew I’d have to make some cuts.


I just wasn’t prepared for them to want so many.


…There were times we fought through paragraphs line by line. Word by word.


…This went on for a couple of weeks.


By then my manuscript was sporting a lot of red ink. [The editor’s] notepad had a lot of scratch-outs.


When it was over I went home and a few weeks later produced [this] version of Off Season… The original I tossed in the garbage.


Yeah, yeah, I know. You don’t have to tell me. I’m an asshole. What can I say?

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