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22
3.5 out of 5 stars
The Loch
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2013
I am a HUGE fan of Steve Alten's 'Meg' books and looked forward to The Loch, expecting more of the same but with a Loch Ness Monster - however, I was hugely disappointed. Terribly written, horrible one-dimensional, unbelievable characters, enormous Scottish stereoptypes, and riddled with inaccuracies about the Scottish criminal justice system (I mean, the death penalty - really Steve?!?!). I made myself finish it as I always try to finish books, but it went straight to a charity shop after (the poor customers!!).
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2005
I have read all of Steve Alten's books and this is by far the best yet!
I absolutely loved the "Meg" series and wasn't exprcting to enjoy this one as much, but my oh my, was I wrong or what?
The storyline hurtles along at a frenetic pace, drawing you deeper and deeper into the drama upon every turn of a page, to the point where you have to put the book down to draw a breath!
There is one part of the book so creepy it stopped me sleeping one night, ALWAYS the sign of a master at work in my eyes, rather tired though they may have been the next morning.
The lead character is very engaging, and comes across as a "real" human being, with baggage and issues galore - all of which assist Steve Alten with his plot twists and turns!!
Sure, we could get picky about written dialect etc, but let's not, let's just focus on the amazing journey this fantastic book takes you on.
Buy it and never go near dark waters again.
I PROMISE YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2011
This is a good book, but, as many people talk about the Scottish accent is so off-putting it is unreal. I live in the UK and found it difficult - ie "ken" = "know", it may well be this word but it confused me along with numerous other words.

That argument aside it is an interesting story but another issue is that most people in Scotland appear to be one or more of the following (1) belong to a clan of some sort, (2) bound by heritage to Robert the Bruce or (3) are a member of a Templar 'group'.

The main characters love interest is (pretty much) a slut, but some of the comments she comes out with are hilarious.

I will read some more of his books, but will try and avoid highly accented writing in the future Mr Alten.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2006
I have read all of Steve Alten's books and honestly this is terrible. Cliched characters, cliched situations and a manufactured story line. Geographically and historically it's fine but he has no knowledge or understanding of the British police, legal or political system. We do not have first degree murder, we do not have the death penalty, we do not imprison people in castles, we do not let the accused in a trial talk to witnesses in the trial - the list goes on and on. There are other factual errors as well. If you are going to write a story like this and make it believable it MUST be embedded in fact and this book is mostly fantasy. Very poor.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2005
A 1,200 year old legend, a capital murder case and a man haunted by demons of his past. The Loch is a spine-tingling, nerve fraying rollercoaster ride of a novel. It's the hound of the Baskervilles for the 21st Centuary. Mr Alten creates characters and situations that feel so real that you want to check the news just to reassure yourself it's only a story.
And what a story, dark age legends, secret orders and modern science, combine so seamlessly that I struggled to put it down until it was finished, as each chapter ended I was left with intrigue and just had to turn the page and start the next chapter.
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VINE VOICEon 11 September 2011
The two converging stories in The Loch are rather incongruous, never truly gelling together. The most prominent plot plays Alten to his strength with the central (and seriously flawed) character, a marine biologist, on the hunt for giant squid. Best intentions don't make a great story and against his wishes the search for a monster in Loch Ness begins. Alten takes care not to produce a tired and predictable story and succeeds, with a clever angle and well fleshed-out characters. The second plot line is more akin to a Dan Brown or Clive Cussler novel and seems misplaced alongside the aquatic adventure Alten can create. Overall The Loch is a good thriller, with perhaps too much originality, and remains good fun from cover to cover.
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on 28 August 2011
Highly entertaining with enough "science" and "history" to keep the story away from the risible side of the Nessie legend. The story builds nicely with only the rather precipitate love interest, although kept to a minimum, mildly marring the plot and the ancient guild of tartan knights proving less than credible even for those most willing to suspend disbelief. However, these minor flaws do not distract from the steadily rising tension that keeps you turning the pages. Good book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2013
NOT THE BEST BOOK WRITTEN BY STEVE ALTEN. AN OKAY READ BUT COULD NOT GET INTO THE STORY. NOT WHAT I HAD HOPED FOR.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2013
no real fear factor or suspense. not sure age range aimed at - teens? knight slays dragon, wow! cheap though.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2012
Having read and enjoyed Steve Alten's super-shark novel Meg around ten years ago, my curiosity was piqued when I stumbled across The Loch by the same author.

The Washington Daily News said "With The Loch, Steve Alten combines meticulous research with riveting storytelling..." I'm afraid that I only agree with that statement to a certain extent. There is no doubt, as with all of his work, Alten has conducted some significant research into his subject material, the wealth of history and scientific knowledge on display in the book is impressive and as you would expect for a story that is largely set in Scotland, words and turns of phrase cropped up that actually made me smile, such as "bampot" and "square-go".

However, I fear that in demonstrating the knowledge that he has acquired in order to write this novel, Alten has sacrificed tranches of his book to coming across like he is merely lecturing the reader with these factual interludes which although interesting, are largely cumbersome and interupt the flow of the story.

Further problems with the story and Alten's research cropped up when it came to the protagonist's father's trial... One would think that with setting a novel in Scotland that research into its legal system would be essential when you are considering centring swathes of the story in and around a criminal court trial. This obviously didn't happen. Scots Law is separate and distinct from English Law and greatly so where criminal law and procedure are concerned. My first clue as to Alten's lack of research in this area came when a character referred to "murder in the first degree", a charge that does not exist in Scots Law.

It only got progressively worse for me from thereon in. The author referred to; opening statements in the trial, again, this is not a feature of Scots Law; barristers instead of advocates; witnesses sitting in open court prior to their evidence being heard; referring to an accused person as the defendant; and a multitude of other mistakes which would have been considered perfectly correct: had the court been positioned 185 miles south pf Inverness and therefore in England!! For me, all of this was very disappointing considering Alten's reputation for research.

Setting aside my rant above, believe it or not, I did enjoy The Loch overall. It is clearly written by an American writer with an American audience in mind but that does not detract from the fact that it is a solid horror-thriller and Alten has succeeded in creating a Loch Ness Monster that surpasses all the commonly held myths and folklore. For many of the more brutal scenes in the novel, I could not help but think of both Jaws and Lake Placid but given the subject matter, I don't think this is entirely unusual! Alten brings in elements of a courtroom drama as a vehicle for the proceedings and also introduces elements that will appeal to both Scots with a nationalistic slant and those with a penchant for stories such as The Da Vinci Code.

So, going back to what the Washington Daily News had to say, yes, I do agree that this is "riveting storytelling" since I would pick The Loch up at every given opportunity to read on about Dr Zachary Wallace and the legendary beast of the loch but unfortunately for me, the legal inaccuracies soured the book more than a little. Belle Avery, producer of 2008's Grizzly Park has expressed interest in developing The Loch for film. If she's looking to correct any factual errors in the story, I hope she reads this review!
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