Books

Red

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.

 

Contents:

  • 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…

Cover

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?

The Girl Next Door

Somebody’s Knocking’…

 

Suburbia in the 1950s. A nice quiet simpler time to grow up – unless you count the McCarthy trials and red-scares and the shadow of the Bomb, and the Cold War, unless you could see the dark side emerging. And on a quiet tree-lined dead-end street, in the dark damp basement of the Chandler house, it’s emerging big-time for teenage Meg and her crippled sister Susan – whose parents are dead now, who are left captive to the savage whims and rages of a distant Aunt who is rapidly descending into madness. It is a madness that infects all three of her sons – and finally an entire neighborhood. Only one troubled boy stands hesitantly between Meg and Susan and their cruel, tortuous deaths. A boy with a very adult decision to make. Between love and compassion, and lust and evil.

 

Features an introduction by Stephen King.

 

Limited Editions also feature afterwords by Christopher Golden, Lucy Taylor, Edward Lee, Philip Nutman, and Stanley Wiater, and are signed by all contributors, including Neal McPheeters, who provided the cover art.

Offspring (UK)

The local sheriff of Dead River, Maine, thought he’d killed them off ten years ago – a primitive, cave-dwelling tribe of predatory savages. But he failed. Somehow the clan survived. To breed. To hunt. To kill and eat. And if the peaceful residents of Dead River are to survive, they too must unless their primal instincts. For blood…

1 8 9 10 13