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The Loch (Loch #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,786 ratings  ·  261 reviews
Marine biologist Zachary Wallace once suffered a near-drowning experience in legendary Loch Ness, and now, long-forgotten memories of that experience have begun haunting him. The truth surrounding these memories lies with Zachary's estranged father, Angus Wallace, a wily Highlander on trial for murder. Together the two plunge into a world where the legend of Loch Ness show ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Tor Books (first published 2005)
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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
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
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
History, Scotland, and a great story..what's not to like?
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
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
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
Randy Daugherty
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
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
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
Mia Darien
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.
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!)
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.
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
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
William Bentrim
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
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
William M.
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,
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
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
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
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
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
This is the first book I've read of Steve Alten, and now I want to read more. This was quite the page-turner, though not a perfect read.

Let's begin with the book's strengths. First and foremost in my mind is the hero, Zack. His character follows this great, non-linear progression I've rarely seen in books, and his tortured mindset as well as his interactions with friends and family make him one of the best heroes I've ever read in a story about monsters. Thumbs up to you, Steve Alten; you outdid
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A worthy read! If you ever are interested in the infamous loch ness monster legend, as I do ever since I was young, this book is a must-read! A marine biologist who was haunted by the loch as a child came back as an adult to confront his fear. Is the loch ness monster a myth or real? The protagonist proved this by learning from other scientific research in the past on the loch and using his expertise as a marine biologist to find out the truth. The book's theory on what type of animal Nessie is ...more
I’ll admit it; I am a sucker for a good thriller. You just can’t beat the distractions of some non-stop action. I’ve read and reviewed some of Steve Alten’s books in the past, and the idea of a thriller with added monsters certainly appeals.

Zachery Wallace has left his old life behind. His unhappy childhood in the Highlands is a distant nightmare that he has done his best to forget. Events transpire against Zach to draw him home, back to his estranged father and the mysteries of Loch Ness. I war
Jim C
I would actually give this a 3.5 rating.

This book deals with the monster that dwells in Loch Ness. Zachery Wallace was originally from Scotland and he is lured back to his homeland. Next thing you know he is thrust into a search for the mythical creature to determine if it is a fable or part of a conspiracy.

This author is known for his Meg series and one can see the similarities between that series and this novel. This book never reaches the high level of enjoyment of those books but this does e
Elaine Meszaros
Perfect summer read? Let’s see here:
Creepy cover with short, punchy title in large, raised letters? Check.
Wronged hero trying to right his life? Check
Snarky nemesis for said wronged hero? Check
Loyal sidekick/best friend? Check
Gorgeous dame to win in the end? Check
Fantastic prehistoric creature wrecking havoc? Check
Lottsa Crichton-esque psuedo-science so you don’t feel like you’re reading complete schlock? Check
Mangled corpses found left and right (gasp!)- Check
A bunch of Knights Templa
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.
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.
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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
More about Steve Alten...

Other Books in the Series

Loch (2 books)
  • Vostok: A Sequel to the Loch
Meg (MEG, #1) The Trench (MEG #2) Primal Waters (MEG #3) Hell's Aquarium (MEG #4) Domain (The Domain Trilogy, #1)

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“Ah, how the seeds of cockiness blossom when soiled in ignorance.” 27 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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