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Under the Lake

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  3,509 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
In the beautiful mountains of North Georgia lies a lake built by an obsessed man at a terrible price. This placid body of water has brought prosperity to an isolated community, and with it, two strangers who intermingle with the insular local folk, strangers probing into crimes against nature from generations past that cannot remain submerged beneath the waters’ surface.

Hardcover, 301 pages
Published May 1st 1987 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1986)
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Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ghosts, mystery
This started as an okayish lowbrow mystery. A dumb drunk goes drunkenly night boating and alludes to something he saw that time. Then he sees something! And it turns his hair white; I had no idea that still happened. But forget him, he is a minor character. A washed-up reporter borrows his brother-in-law's cabin to ditch his adoring, more successful wife write a book, and the small town happens to have SECRETS. You know, skeletons in the closet, except in this case it is a lake instead of a clos ...more
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
I think I'm becoming a jaded supernatural mystery reader.

If I had read this one four or five years ago it probably would have been a 4 or 5 star read. Now it's just barely a 3.

It's not that Under the Lake was that awful, it's just that when you quote Stephen King on the cover saying that the book "scared the hell" out of him, you better have one mother fucking scary-ass book on your hands. Or else you paid Stephen King to lie.

I think someone paid Stephen King to lie. I'd rather believe that ugly
Jun 19, 2014 rated it liked it
just in case you're in the mood for a mediocre mystery with a washed up, middle aged has-been (who hates that his wife is the bread winner) finding himself again thanks to sex with multiple nubile 24 year olds. I just like lakes, okay?
Thomas Strömquist
The first Stuart Woods I read and it remains my favourite. Howell is a journalist who rents a small cabin by a lake to write his novel. He soon learns that the creation of the lake was forced upon the farmowners whose land was to become sea bed, and there are even rumours that somebody did not get out in time. Howell begins both hearing and seeing unexplainable things and when he finds out he's not alone he does not know if he should be relieved he's not going crazy or if...

It was quite a disapp
Mar 28, 2008 is currently reading it
It's about a drunk writer. He lives in a cabin. I like it so far.
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt Garcia
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the small Southern town setting. My favorite setting in horror novels and Woods does a good job crafting this one. Everybody has something to hide and secrets better left untold. The town and lake itself basically become characters in the story in addition to the people.
The tension is palpable throughout. Woods does a good job of creating tension when characters are in trouble or the mystery is ratcheting up.
The mystery was very complex and involved a bunch of twists and turns that kept m
This was simply a great, great read. As promised on the book jacket it combines the best features of a detective story, ghost story and Southern Gothic. It's also an outstanding addition to my Family Secrets shelf. I didn't want to blink as I was reading this one because every single detail was important to the story. Highly recommended.
Jun 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, favorites
I've only read a few books by Stuart Woods thus far, but I like him. Palindrome is one of my all-time favorites! Under The Lake is a stand-alone novel and is one of his earlier works. It takes place in the North Georgia mountains (my home state!) in a tiny little backwoods town, where former reporter John Howell is staying in a lakeside cabin to focus on writing a book. He stumbles on something far more interesting, however, when he learns of a decades-old mystery that is filled with long-buried ...more
Ignacio Senao f
Prometía mucho su principio. Comenzando como la clásica historia de escritor que va a pueblo extraño para acabar su libro (muy parecido a “Un Saco de huesos”), pero tenía una atmosfera asfixiante y muchos sucesos sin explicación que ocurrían. Yo me estaba gozando y rezando para ponerle sus 5 estrellas. Pero sus dos últimos tercios a nuestro autor se le olvida todo y se cansa de las descripciones y terror, para comenzar la más típica aun investigación del último que llega al pueblo y quiere acaba ...more
May 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Under the Lake is just under ten hours of listening narrated by Tom Stechschulte.

This is a good read/listen, a mystery. The lead character is a single man who experiences a bizarre disappearance of the lake outside his house, revealing an old farm. Part paranormal, mystical, part who-done-it mystery. Everyone in his small town, except him, knows the dark history he unfolds. Thwarted by everyone, including the local librarian and sheriff, he peels away the layers of an Agatha Christie-type story.
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good, fast read. The pace of the book was pretty fast and I finished it in less than a week. It's a story about a reporter who comes to this remote mountain village to write his novel and instead gets caught up in the local legends about the lake and what's underneath it. I wont say too much more about the plot but it's NOT about a lake monster as I first thought when reading the title. It's a supernatural story and a great mystery. If you want a light, fun, intriguing read the ...more
Dan Lawton
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Under the Lake was my first time experiencing Stuart Woods, and I was pleased. I'm glad I didn't know ahead of time that there were some supernatural and ghostly elements in this, because I probably wouldn't have read it. Although these elements were included, they didn't overwhelm the story by any means. I'm fact, without them, the story may not have worked.

Woods' pacing was excellent and the mystery was intriguing. The ending was a surprise, which is nice, although some of it was a little clic
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
This was a page turner for me. I about went crazy yesterday when I had only 30 pages left but didn't have time to read them until bedtime. The end was fairly predictable but yet had a couple of twists.
Brett Sorge
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I am a big fan of Woods, but mostly his later Stone Barrington novels. For some reason this book left me uninterested and I called it quits after 45 pages. Maybe I am just not a fan of horror stories. Somehow I miss his funny camp writing displayed in his later books.
Jean Marie
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book in a day...could not put it down until I knew how the story would unfold. This book keeps you entertained with its many twists and turns and unexpected ending.
Tara Kable
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
O my gosh i loved this book!! So mant twists and turns, and the end was really good! This was a first for me by stuart woods, but wont be my last!
Horace Derwent
i prefer the Pan 1988 edition
Entirely predictable dated mystery novel (not a horror whatsoever) about a whiny drunk.

OK, there are a couple good points: it moves at a fast clip, the first twenty pages are intriguing, and the setting is a quite interesting. But, un, sorry to say, that’s about it for positives.

(Note – I read this like 2 weeks ago so I don’t remember the names. Sorry.)
The characters are pretty bad. The main character is a huge douche. He’s upset that he failed in his career while his wife was successful. She
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Johnson
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a crime mystery story with a ghost story slammed right on top of it. The crime mystery part is pretty solid with plenty of twists and turns but the ghost story part isn't very scary and is rather confusing at times with too many things left unexplained. Some of the characters just don't behave in believable ways. The author showed some creativity in setting up some interesting situations but some things that occurred were just way too convenient. The reader is left with a "yeah right" fe ...more
Dale Safford
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book while on a long bus trip, and it sure passed the time well. A very intricate mystery that reads quickly, with a clear cast of characters and excitement as the climax is being reached.

Former investigative journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner John Howell has reluctantly taken on the job of writing a man's biography. He retreats to the mountains of north Georgia to idyllic Sutherland to a cabin owned by his former brother-in-law. A lake was formed years ago under suspicious circums
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Looking forward a tale of craziness, crime, and a heaping side of incest?

Under the Lake gives you all of that and more. The incest is explained in a most interesting manner: when the Irish settled in a small community in Georgia, they were surrounded by Southern Baptist. Since there was a strong Church control about not marrying outside of the Catholic faith, and eligible partners were so few, marriage to an immediate family member was common. So much in-breeding brought out traits that would li
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first experience reading Stuart Woods

I've known about his books for a long time but never picked one up to read until this one. It sounded creepy enough to be right up my reading alley, and boy oh boy, was it. It was suspenseful, and exciting, and I found myself reaching for it when I should have been doing other things. This won't be my last Woods book, for sure.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This mystery from 1987 is solidly written and kept my interest. It was a nice combination of a a crime/corruption mystery and a supernatural mystery (a real one, not just an illusion or Scooby-type hoax). I wavered a bit about giving it four stars, but since it didn't leave me eager to read others by the same author, I decided to go with three stars.
Barbara Vink
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was different

Having read mainly the Stone Barrington novels by Woods, this was a departure from the norm for me. It was a real mystery which didn't settle until the end. A new setting, a hint of the unexplainable and some well fleshed out characters kept my interest.
Mark Grech
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable modern ghost story.

Easy read, pages turn themselves. Interesting characters, well plotted, great dialogue and tightly written. Have already recommended to several friends.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Read!

I've read several of Stuart Wood's books with Stone Barrington as the main character. "Under the Lake" featured John Howell and it was a good mystery with a touch of
deja vu.
James Mooney
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

As. Per his normal self, he wrote another really good book. I've got to go find some more I have yet to read. I hope he doesn't retire from writing before I become unable to read any more.
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Stuart Woods is the author the New York Times-bestselling Stone Barrington series and Holly Barker series. He is an avid private pilot, flying his own jet on book tours. You may see his tour schedule and learn more about the author on his website.

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“It was time to panic, Scotty thought. The only thing she could think of was to faint.

Scotty had never fainted before, not even in the worst moments of her life, but she was so frightened that very little acting was required. She simply placed a hand on her forehead, then crumpled in sections at Bo's feet like an elongated sack of oranges.

Bo's inexperience with fainting apparently matched Scotty's, because he reacted as if she had taken an arrow to the chest.”
“Now it was Howell’s” 0 likes
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