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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely scary to this horror veteran
Jack Ketchum is one of horror's most gifted writers and has attracted a cult following over the past two decades that now includes yours truly among its ranks. Why his talent has not been brought to the attention of more horror and mainstream fiction fans is a mystery to me. Hide and Seek, his second published novel, varies significantly from his incredible debut novel...
Published on 28 Nov 2002 by Daniel Jolley

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not quite what I was expecting
I grabbed this book after thoroughly enjoying Ketchum's Ladies' Night, which was a nice (and bloody) take on the zombie genre with a very clever twist. I was impressed by the tight, focused writing style and Ketchum's ability to draw believable characters with very broad brush strokes in a highly engaging way.

Hide and Seek, however, is a very different affair...
Published on 5 Jun 2012 by Inconstant Reader


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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely scary to this horror veteran, 28 Nov 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hide and Seek (Hardcover)
Jack Ketchum is one of horror's most gifted writers and has attracted a cult following over the past two decades that now includes yours truly among its ranks. Why his talent has not been brought to the attention of more horror and mainstream fiction fans is a mystery to me. Hide and Seek, his second published novel, varies significantly from his incredible debut novel Off Season, but it packs just as much of a punch as its predecessor. Where Off Season was horrible and disturbing, Hide and Seek is downright spooky. I have read enough horror to become immune to the scare tactics most authors rely on, but Ketchum managed to really give me the creeps in the later chapters of this incredible tale. The book does start a little slowly, with character development taking up the first half of it, but midway through Ketchum cranks up the tension and advances the plot at an increasingly intensive, addicting pace. About thirty pages from the end, I found myself covering up the right hand page with my hand because it was all I could do to stop myself from jumping ahead and seeing how things played out. I must say that I found myself more than satisfied with the ending. Many authors put their characters through the ringer only to wrap things up with a fairy tale ending. Ketchum is far too honest to back down at the last minute and give his readers what they might want at the end. This honesty and loyalty to both his characters and his readers is what distinguishes Ketchum in my mind as one of horror's most praiseworthy writers.
The story itself seems rather simple and conventional: two young men and two young women go to an abandoned house out in the woods of Maine in order to play a game of adult hide and seek--the house has long been the subject of gossip and rumors but it cannot really be characterized as haunted. The idea for this seemingly foolish pursuit comes from Casey, a complicated, fascinating female character. Her constant shows of bravado and risk-taking bother our protagonist yet he never refuses her requests. The first half of the novel establishes Casey's character and background pretty well, so the context of the game makes sense to the reader. When the gang arrive at midnight and commence their game, this novel quickly shifts into overdrive. Having to follow our protagonist around this creepy house in the dark, searching for the hiding places of his friends, got this reader's blood pumping a little harder, but the increasingly scary nature of the game is actually no more than a prelude of the horror to come.
The only flaw I can identify in my own mind is Ketchum's level of characterization. He spends a lot of time introducing us to the four players of the hide and seek game, but I never fully came to know them. The complex Casey remains somewhat of an enigma to me despite the revelations we receive about her life and history. A few events seem very important when they happen but are never fully dealt with later on. Of course, Ketchum is mainly trying to scare readers, and to some extent it matters little whether or not we completely understand and care deeply about the players in his fictional universe. The fears Ketchum manipulates here are some of man's most primal, instinctive ones, which makes it almost impossible for the reader not to get sucked into the story and taken along for a wild ride. If you have begun to think that all horror novels are basically alike, Ketchum will surprise and delight you with his refreshing originality, realism, and honesty.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not quite what I was expecting, 5 Jun 2012
This review is from: Hide and Seek (Paperback)
I grabbed this book after thoroughly enjoying Ketchum's Ladies' Night, which was a nice (and bloody) take on the zombie genre with a very clever twist. I was impressed by the tight, focused writing style and Ketchum's ability to draw believable characters with very broad brush strokes in a highly engaging way.

Hide and Seek, however, is a very different affair. It's much more of a slow burn, with very little happening until the climax at the end. That said, the characters are again well-drawn, and it's definitely a cut above most novels in the horror genre in terms of the quality of the writing. Overall, though, I was a little disappointed on the whole. There just wasn't as much to it as I'd been hoping for.

I'm definitely going to persist with Mr Ketchum - in fact, I've already picked up a copy of Off Season which I'm about to get stuck in to - but this wasn't quite as good as I'd hoped it would be.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good short read, 29 May 2009
By 
KMS (Warrington, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hide and Seek (Paperback)
I've just finished this book and it only took me 2 and a half hours to get through it.

The book is about a group of people who decide they should go and play a game of hide and seek in an old abandoned, apparently haunted, house. The first half of the book establishes who the characters are, the second half of the book is when the game begins.

I had high hopes for this book, I thought it would be quite chilling and graphic, but I was left a little disappointed as the ending was just too far fetched for me. I did enjoy the book as a whole, but what I thought would be a scary, haunted house story, ended up being something completely different.

However, Ketchum has written this brilliantly and I just love the way he can make you believe you're in the story with these characters and I'm always left thinking to myself "what would i do?"

I can recommend this as a nice, easy read that you can finish in just afew hours.
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Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek by Jack Ketchum (Paperback - 1 Oct 2007)
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