Archive for May 18th, 2007

bc_small.jpgThe Loch
By Steve Alten
Tsunami Books
ISBN: 0-9761659-0-2
Copyright 2005
Hardcover, 487 pages, $27.95

Brilliant young biologist Zachary Wallace takes part in an underwater expedition in the Sargasso Sea. However, while deep in the water, something goes terribly wrong and he’s eventually blamed for what happens.

His career seriously damaged, Zachary plunges into alcohol. The fact that he’s lost his job isn’t the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that now, for some mysterious reason, he’s incredibly afraid of going into the water. But how can a marine biologist be afraid of the water? At the same time, he begins to be tormented by dark memories of his childhood, when he was nearly drown in Loch Ness.

Then one day a stranger—who claims to be his half-brother—shows up at his hotel with a strange request: Zachary must return to Scotland to help their father, who has been accused of murder.

But how can Zachary help a man for whom he feels nothing but contempt? Besides, that would mean going back to Loch Ness, a dark place that plagues his dreams with horrific images, for when he nearly drowned all those years ago, he saw a creature there, a creature with icy cold eyes and gigantic pointed teeth…

As Zachary helps his father and tries to solve the mystery of the Loch Ness monster, he takes off into a journey of self-discovery.

Whether you believe in the Loch Ness monster or not, one thing is for sure: this is a book alla “Jaws” that will be relished by thriller fans. Combining action, mystery, horror, history and scientific research, the book sure offers an intriguing and exciting read.

In Zachary we have a real guy with faults, not the perfect romantic hero of so many commercial novels, heightening the realistic aspect of the story. Indeed, the protagonist is not only insufferable at times, but, for all his brilliance, possesses the most deplorable taste in women.

In spite of its length, almost 500 pages, this is the type of fast-paced novel that will be finished by most readers in a matter of days. The history adds an intriguing, original aspect to the tale, while the scientific research gives it credibility and helps to maintain a good suspension of disbelief throughout. It is obvious as one reads the pages the amount of time that the author spent on research. Recommended as an interesting, thrilling, action-packed read.

Reviewed by Mayra Calvani

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