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The Loch (Loch #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  3,440 Ratings  ·  296 Reviews
The Loch
Mass Market Paperback, 544 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Tor Books (first published 2005)
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Nov 09, 2010 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime, sci-fi
Steve Alten takes on the legend of Nessie, blending fact with fiction in The Loch. Zach Wallace, a descendant of another legend, William Wallace of Braveheart fame, is a talented yet somewhat hapless marine biologist. His last project, locating the elusive giant squid in the depths of the Sargasso Sea, was both a success and a catastrophe, and now Zach's afraid to go back in the water. When his estranged father, Angus, summons him to Inverness, where he is standing trial for murder, Zach relucta ...more
Dec 16, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A biological mystery/thriller set in Scotland's Loch Ness. Something in the water is attacking animals and people. Could it be Nessie? And if it is, what kind of creature is it and what's causing it to attack now?

The book has alot of quotes from real marine biology, ecology, and evolutionary scientific works interspersed within the fictional plot. The author also tells about the history of Scotland and the Loch Ness area, and quotes actual eyewitness accounts of Nessie sightings at the beginning
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
History, Scotland, and a great story..what's not to like?
This fast moving novel will take you on underwater adventures in the Sargasso Sea and Loch Ness laced with romance and a murder mystery. The story is amplified with bits of marine biology, Scottish history and quotes of probable monster sightings.

It’s hard to tell where fact and fiction separate. For instance, How much about ecology of the Loch is real? Is it an accurate portrayal of how the blasts to build the highway affected the Loch? Is there a deeper cavern? I presume the Nessie sightings a
Jan 09, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not great literature but it sure was a fun read. It combines a wee bit of Scottish history, the templar mythology, the origins of nessie and her tenure in the loch all while riding a Harley. With a broken foot. Anyway, I digress. The book is a fun read and I really enjoyed it. For a quick read it intersperses two timelines well and they ties together nicely as you read through the story. The characters are fun, but none of them have much depth... they do get the story on its way though. ...more
Jason Golomb
This book is full of clichés - the dialogue, the narration, and the plethora of borrowed plot lines from "Jaws". You know the good characters from the bad. You can predict which ones will die violently (and deservedly so), and you know which bad guys will turn out to be good guys.

But you know what, I thoroughly enjoyed this thriller and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I found myself staying up through the wee hours to get through "just one more chapter". At first I felt a little embarrassment at e
William M.
Jun 29, 2011 William M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
2 AND 1/2 STARS.

I really enjoyed Meg, author Steve Alten's breakout bestselling novel, and with my fascination regarding the mysteries behind the Loch Ness Monster, I had to pick this one up too. For me, The Loch is a mixed bag. While the main storyline is quite exciting, Alten wedges large chunks of dry historical background that seem to be copied from a middle school book report. These unnecessary facts constantly pulled me out of the story, making it difficult to come back to the main focus,
Sarah Maddaford
This story fits the Thriller genre, specifically the Scientific Thriller genre very well. The biology behind the creature shows detailed research and possibly consultation with biologists and cryptozoologists. The pacing could have been a little faster and more exciting. The author provided a lot of Nessie sightings and evolution tidbits that broke up the flow of the story. Fortunately, the effect of the first person narration makes up for some of the pacing issues. The reader learns everything ...more
Kara Jorges
Aug 04, 2011 Kara Jorges rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zach Wallace has spent a lifetime putting his first nine years on the shores of Loch Ness and his emotionally abusive father behind him. He suffers from migraines, but other than those and a few scars he keeps covered, he has completely moved on from the events of his ninth birthday, when a tree overturned his boat and, wrapping him in barbed wire, nearly dragged him to the bottom. At least, that’s what the official report says. He was rescued by a neighbor and his mother left his father afterwa ...more
Jun 28, 2009 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I confess that I wasn't expecting a lot from this book, not when the front cover proclaimed it to be "... the best work of fiction since King Kong and The Lost World!", LOL! But the subject matter intrigued me and it turned out to be surprisingly readable.

Steve Alten isn't ever going to win any prizes for literature. From a look of the list of other books he has written he would seem to be a writer in the mould of Dan Brown - formulaic plots, one dimensional characters and surprisingly exciting
Mae Clair
I love books with creatures, even better if they're mythological creatures making an appearance in the world of man. The idea of a marine biologist searching for Nessie may not be original, but I figured it was guaranteed to be fun. The Loch isn't quite what I expected.

While I enjoyed parts of it, I can't say I loved it as a whole. The main character, Dr. Zachary Wallace, takes a while to warm up to. I kept waffling between disliking and liking him, but maybe that's what the author intended. The
Patrick Ellard
Outside of his very popular "Meg" series, The Loch is arguably Steve Alten's most well received book, garnering good reviews from the majority of people who have read it. It certainly has an interesting plot and enough going on to hold your attention but unfortunately there are also quite a few faults with his writing.

The plot is obviously based around the Scottish lake called Loch Ness, famous for it's monster lore which also takes centre stage in Alten's story with a Marine biologist tasked to
Feb 27, 2010 Hannah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2010-reads
Such a disappointment from Alten. Unlike Meg, or The Trench (both of which I devoured in a few days around the pool one summer), The Loch was a snooze-fest. I kept putting it down, reading other things, and picking it back up just so I could finish it.

Alten's usually good at writing about not-so-extinct mega-prehistoric-sharks making chum salads out of hapless humans - great beach stuff! Unfortunately, Alten's foray into the domain of Nessie, the Loch-Ness monster, fails miserably IMO. The chara
Randy Daugherty
Dec 04, 2010 Randy Daugherty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having nearly drowned in his youth on the fabled Loch Ness, and whisked away after his parents divorce, Zachary Wallace, now a famous and well known marine biologist, suffers another near fatal accident while researching in the Sargasso Sea, trouble by nightmares and a phobia of water, not a good thing for a marine biologist,his father Angus Wallace is being tried for murder back in Scotland, so Zach once again is back in the highlands of Scotland and faceing his fears and nightmares, both his f ...more
May 31, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Loch could be a Fox Mulder "I ( want to)
Believe." I don't remember when I first heard about the Loch Ness monster -- Nessie, but I do remember the excitement of a prehistoric animal inhabiting the lake. I BELIEVE!!

The Loch grabbed my attention from the first page and kept me interested through out the entire book. I like the tie in with the Templers, and the diary from 1330, as well as the writings of those who had seen Nessie surface in the lake. The characters were well written and believ
Jul 30, 2008 Warren rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One word -- STUPID!

I expect at least vaguely plausable scenarios, and the glaring error/lack of understanding of the physical principles in this book is the most egregious I have ever seen in a book in print. Made me want to throw the book against the wall. I have lost all respect for this author (and for the editor and publisher as well!)
Mia Darien
Sep 30, 2012 Mia Darien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one a lot. Some interesting theories and twists mixed with Scottish lore. There were a couple character similarities to the first MEG book that bugged me: a hero with PTSD that's bordering a little too much on self pity, and the love interest who is very bitchy for the first half. But it wasn't so bad, and I liked the rest of the story.
Kristen Elise
This book was delicious. A plausible scientific explanation for the Loch Ness monster tied up in a thriller that's part mystery, part love story, and part tale of an underdog. Steve Alten is a PhD marine biologist, but don't let that fool you into thinking he can't weave a good tale. And yes, this fueled my desire to tour Scotland.
May 10, 2009 edifanob rated it liked it
Shelves: my-books, 2009-reads
I would have given three and a half stars but that is impossible.

You learn a lot about Scotland and especially Loch Ness combined with action and scientific background.

Read my full review
Mar 20, 2013 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
This book managed to be both awful and awesome all at the same time.
William Bentrim
Feb 23, 2011 William Bentrim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Loch by Steve Alten.

This is an excellent action adventure novel. The loch is Loch Ness and as you can guess the main character is Nessie the Loch Ness monster. Zack Wallace find the roots of his migraines and night terrors by returning to his roots while simultaneously solving multiple mysteries.

Zack is a believable character in his coping with his night terrors. An over achiever he must face his deep rooted fears. The popularity of the Loch Ness monster practically guarantees a successful
Nov 10, 2011 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have stood within the ruins of Urquhart Castle in the Scottish Highlands peering into a dark Loch Ness in an attempt to glimpse that elusive creature of the deep, "Nessie." The secrets of the Loch date back to 565 AD and after hundreds of years, thousands of reported sightings, expeditions and theories does a prehistoric creature really live within those depths? From the Castle to the Loch's 23 mile length all I can claim is that I didn't see Nessie that day. Over the years reports of sighting ...more
Steve Alten has written a few books involving long-dead creatures (notably Carcharodon Megalodon, the protagonist of his 'Meg' series) but here he tackles the subject of cryptozoology, that is, creatures that might exist but presumably don't, and he succeeds mightily at convincing readers that there is a creature inhabiting the famous Scottish lake.

With the 'Meg' books, there were subplots that went nowhere and slowed the book down a bit, but here Alten's writing is at full throttle at all time
Dec 17, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this read as a kind of fluffy suspense novel with sci-fi aspirations...

It actually grabbed my attention a lost faster than I expected, and then held onto it for the rest of the book. The suspense was palpable, the horror was minor, but memorable, and the characters were fun and interesting. I liked the intertwining threads of story (the murder case, the monster-chase, the templar knights, and the main character's childhood memories) and how they fit together. There was a little
Greig Beck
Mar 07, 2011 Greig Beck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is it about Alten and dark water? Doesn't matter whether its an ocean or deep lake, he manages to create a sense of menace and downright fear from being out there alone in the dark. Alten is able to pull the legend of the Loch into today's world, and blends the ancient with the modern. There was a fair bit of backgrounding and character building going on in the middle of the book, and was looking like a 3.5 rating. However it's worth hanging in there, as within a few pages it picked up spee ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Lynne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't a bad monster story, but a number of characters underwent extremely sudden (sudden as in without any warning at all) personality changes and behaved in ways that were not in keeping with anything their previous behavior would lead one to expect, apparently for the sole purpose of plotting convenience.
Jan 20, 2016 Forfirith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Increíble novela, la verdad es que no creía que me fuera a gustar tanto, esa unión entre la realidad y la ficción que nos maneja en verdad nos transporta a momentos increíbles donde ya no sabes que es ficción y que es verdad...

Sin duda una novela muy recomendada, leeré más libros de este autor, espero me atrapen de la misma manera....
I enjoy a good cryptozoological romp, and could even get past some Dan Brown-esque turns of phrase to appreciate the somewhat historical, somewhat scientific "explanation" for Nessie. It isn't fantastic, but I did finish it, fwiw.
Aug 22, 2013 Jeannette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inventive, classical, and a twisted story.

This is a great "realistic" book. I like the true testimonies every chapter it really puts you in the book. Making a Marine biologist the main character really makes the book come alive. The dialogue makes you feel like you are really in Scotland.
So far, this one is delightfully terrible - so bad, but I just can't stop reading. Kind of a more ridiculous Jurassic Park, with sea monsters instead of dinosaurs.
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Steve Alten grew up in Philadelphia, earning his Bachelors degree in Physical Education at Penn State University, a Masters Degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Delaware, and a Doctorate of Education at Temple University. Struggling to support his family of five, he decided to pen a novel he had been thinking about for years. Working late nights and on weekends, he eventually finished ...more
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“Ah, how the seeds of cockiness blossom when soiled in ignorance.” 28 likes
“ takes exactly eighteen shots tae polish off a fifth o' a bottle o' Scotch, thus, a game o' golf equates tae eighteen holes...” 2 likes
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