Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times bestselling author, 5-time Bram Stoker Award winner, 3-time Scribe Award winner, Inkpot Award winner, and comic book writer. His vampire apocalypse book series, V-WARS, was a Netflix original series. He writes in multiple genres including suspense, thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy, and action; for adults, teens and middle grade. His novels include the Joe Ledger thriller series, Bewilderness, Ink, Glimpse, the Pine Deep Trilogy, the Rot & Ruin series, the Dead of Night series, Mars One, Ghostwalkers: A Deadlands Novel, Kagen the Damned, and many others. He is the editor of many anthologies including The X-Files, Aliens: Bug Hunt, Don't Turn Out the Lights, Aliens vs Predator: Ultimate Prey, Hardboiled Horror, Nights of the Living Dead (co-edited with George A. Romero), and others. His comics include Black Panther: DoomWar, Captain America, Pandemica, Highway to Hell, The Punisher and Bad Blood. He is a board member of the Horror Writers Association, president of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, and the editor of Weird Tales Magazine. Visit him online at

Joe Ledger - Secret Missions by Jonathan Maberry

Joe Ledger is back!

JOE LEDGER: SECRET MISSIONS collects some of Ledger's most dynamic and bizarre short story adventures –classic reprints as well as exciting new material! From the icy wastes of the Antarctic to the Gate of Hell in Turkmenistan, Ledger and his team are the last, best hope that stands between the unsuspecting public and unimaginable dangers!

Stories include crossovers with Maberry's many fictional and bestselling worlds including V-WARS (Netflix), the Pine Deep Trilogy, the Sam Hunter Case Files, Dead of Night, and Rot & Ruin. Even if you've never read a Joe Ledger tale, this is a great jumping-on point; and if you're a longtime fan, you'll encounter old friends and enemies – Mr. Church, Echo Team, Havoc Team, Malcolm Crow and Mike Sweeney, Violin, Toys, and more!

And there are special treats! An insightful introduction by bestseller Peter Clines (The Fold, 14); a collaboration with author Marie Whittaker; and a brief glimpse into Mr. Church as he takes a rare day off, penned by the "voice of Joe Ledger," audiobook reader Ray Porter.

So buckle up, lock and load, and go rolling into action with Joe Ledger! Hooah!




"Are we going to die down here?" demanded Luther Swann.

"First off," said the big man with the knife, "stop yelling."

"I'm not yelling," yelled Swann.

They stood facing each other in a red room that had been white ten minutes earlier. The floors, the walls, even the ceiling was splash-painted in red. It dripped and ran and pooled. It glistened in the light from the few unbroken bulbs. In the corners where the light did not reach, it gleamed like thick, black oil. Everywhere else it was a bright red. Not the red of clown noses or party balloons. Not a happy red. Not a candy red or a Christmas red. This was darker, more viscous, so much less appealing. And it stank of copper and mingled urine, of gun smoke and pain.

"You are yelling," said the big man quietly, "and you really need to stop."

"I am not yelling, goddamn it."

"Shut up," said the big man. "Right. Fucking. Now."

"Don't tell me what to—"

The big man's hands had been down at his side. The left holding a knife, the right covered in blood. Now the right hand had closed around Swann's throat. The professor had not seen that hand move. There was barely even a blur and suddenly hard fingers circled his throat. Not hard. It was not an attack. Not yet anyway. The threat, however, was eloquent.

Luther Swann stopped yelling, but in a low, ice-cold voice he said, "Take your hand off me."

"You going to behave?"

Swann tried to swat the hand away. He failed. He tried to pull it away. And failed there too. He tried to step back out of reach and the big man followed him step by step until Swann's back thumped into the red-smeared wall, at which point the man tightened his grip. Just a little. Enough.

"Listen to me, Doc," said the man slowly, precisely; making sure his words were clear. "This isn't over. You hear me? We're in deep shit and I don't know how we're going to get out of this. I need to figure this out or we are both dog meat, capiche? Now, I'm going to let you go, and you get stupid, I'm going to knock you the fuck out and maybe I'll even leave you here so the fang gang out there have a little breakfast buffet. If you shut up and behave, then maybe—just maybe—I'll take you with me. Now, can I let go without you going all drama queen on me?"

Swann stared up into hard, blue eyes for a long moment, then he nodded.

The man smiled a charming smile. As if this was just another day and they were two completely different people. As if the world was different. He dropped his hand and looked around.

The room was a charnel house. Six bodies lay sprawled in a lake of blood. None of them whole. None of them human.

The door was closed and locked, but Swann knew as well as the man with the knife that the lock would not hold. Not against the monsters that were hunting them.

No…it would not hold at all if the monsters really wanted to get in.

"Ledger," said Swann, his voice quiet now, though even he could hear the latent shrillness of a panic barely controlled, "are we going to get out of here?"

Captain Joe Ledger walked across the bloody floor. His gun was soaked, the slide locked back, the magazine empty, and it lay in a quarter inch of gore. The small-blade knife was all he had left, although Ledger had done terrible things with it.

Terrible things.

Even so, there was worse on the other side of that door.

Much worse.