Jack Ketchum has written some of the best horror/suspense titles of the '80's and '90's--check out OFF SEASON, JOYRIDE, HIDE AND SEEK, and (if you've got the nerve for it), THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. He can probably be compared in some ways with Richard Laymon or Joe R. Lansdale in that he usually tells a very stripped-down, bare bones story. None of the self-indulgent bloat and needless flashbacks that mar most of the horror genres bestselling writers. COVER has a very exciting premise: A group of people on a weekend outing in the woods are hunted down by a psychotic Vietnam vet. And had Ketchum used his usual bare-knuckled formula of throwing you right into the story, right into the action, this would have been very good. Unfortunately, it takes a good hundred pages before ANYTHING happens. His characters don't work here, either. The Viet vet is very good, a very comendable portrayal of the suffering and needless horror of war. But the others characters, particularly the egotistic has-been writer Kelsey, are not believable nor exactly likeable. As an example of how ridiculous this gets, Kelsey has a beautiful, rich and powerful wife who is friends with Kelsey's ultra-beautiful, rich and powerful supermodel mistress. They both go on the weekend campout, happily. Yeah, right! (...) As it is, this one just doesn't work. You almost get the feeling that Ketchum was trying to write a mainstream literary work here, but at the last moment knew it wouldn't sell, so he through in some horror elements. Read his other books, though, you won't be disappointed.