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Jack Ketchum ‘Right to Life: And Two New Stories’ Review


Written by: Wayne C. Rogers

Unlike Jack Ketchum’s earlier novel, Ladies Night, his novel, Right to Life, has the shoe on the other foot as a pregnant woman becomes the victim of a deranged married couple that kidnap her right off the street and hold her captive for several months while she’s forced to endure their bizarre S&M games.

The 139-page novella starts off with Sara Foster on her way to an abortion clinic to do away with the unwanted child she’s carrying.  Before Sara can even enter the clinic, she’s grabbed and sedated by Stephen and Katherine Teach, a couple who’s unable to have children.  Sara is taken to their home where she’s held as a prisoner.  It’s the couple’s intention to hold Sara until the baby is born and then kill her.

Stephen, however, has other plans for his beautiful captive as well.  He’s wants to get the most out Sara’s luscious body by using her to fulfill his own perverted desires.  Forcing her to submit in whatever sexual manner he chooses, she’s mentally and physically tortured on a daily basis.  Even Stephen’s wife decides to get in on the action by making the prisoner her sex slave when the hubby begins to lose interest after a few months have passed.

Sara instinctively knows she has to find a way out before it’s too late, but time is her worse enemy as she grows bigger and more powerless with her pregnancy.  She also understands that if she does manage to escape, the couple may very well come after her.  This leaves her with just one option…to kill them first!

Right to Life will shock you to the core as it depicts one’s person’s attempt to survive unimaginable torture and humiliation in order to keep from being killed.  Mr. Ketchum never pulls his punches with the violence and craziness.  His prose is fast moving and creates stark images that are mind numbing in their intensity.  The reader is quickly carried into this dark world of depravity and made to realize that anyone can be a potential victim when least expected.  The characters are well drawn, but it’s the Techs that really steal the show.  This is one psychotic couple you wouldn’t want to have as next-door neighbors!

All in all, Right to Life delivers in full form.

This particular edition also contains two extra short stories.

The first is “Brave Girl” and it deals with a four-year-old child whose mother has fallen in the bathtub and is now unconscious.  The second short story is “Returns” which is slightly different from the author’s normal subject matter.  It centers on the spirit of a recently deceased man who returns home to his hateful wife, hoping to stop her from killing his loving cat.  These two short stories are a nice bonus for the fans of Jack Ketchum.

Order it here.

Rating: 4/5

About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

1 Comment on Jack Ketchum ‘Right to Life: And Two New Stories’ Review

  1. Vitina Molgaard // December 15, 2013 at 8:14 pm // Reply

    Again Wayne, I agree as I am sure most people who have read Mr. Ketchum’s work will, that he puts out an extremely violent tale. One should not pick up his book and think they are in for an easy story . He sets about with intense violent tales that are not for the squeamish. Thank you for this one and while it sounds like one that might make me a little uncomfortable , I think I might find myself reading it. Oddly enough when he puts women into these frightening places where survival is a must, he also creates a woman who can find the strength to survive it. That is something I enjoyed about his novella, The Passenger. Let me know sometime soon if I am right about the victim/ woman in this story. A well done review again from you…as always …just me..Vitina


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