An ancient predator has been reborn in the caves beneath Crater Lake…and it’s hungry.
Ex-cop Henry Shore has been Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake National Park for eight years and he likes his park and his life the way it’s been. Safe. Tranquil. Predictable. But he’s about to be tested in so many ways. First the earthquakes begin…people begin to go missing…then there’s some mysterious water creature that’s taken up residence in the caves below Crater Lake and it’s not only growing in size, it’s aggressive and cunning…and very hungry.
And it’s decided it likes human beings. To eat.
And it can come up onto land.
So Henry, with the help of his wife, Ann; a young paleontologist named Justin; and a band of brave men must not only protect his park and his people from the monster but somehow find where it lives and destroy it…before it can kill again.
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Dinosaur Lake will appeal to fans of Jurassic Park and Jaws.
Author Kathryn Meyer Griffith creates a strong opening, deftly pulling the reader into the story and into the world of Henry Shore and Crater Lake National Park. The setting plays an important part in this tale and I was able to transport myself to the woods and striking, postcard-perfect scenery that eventually plays an ironic contrast to the inevitable horror. From the beginning, the conflict is clear and the stakes are high, and Griffith keeps the tension mounting as the creature becomes more and more daring and the bodies begin to pile up.
Though the idea isn’t unique (killer creature sets out to kill humans), Griffith makes her novel stand out among others in the genre by creating real, genuine characters readers root for. The author certainly pays special attention to characterization and I especially enjoyed the dynamics between the men and the way they come to know each other and bond during their search for the creature. This aspect reminded me of the movie Jaws and the way Chief Brody bonds with Hooper and Quint. Because of this, at times the story seems to get off track as each of the characters reveal their personalities and their own special demons.
Having now read two of Griffith’s novels (look for my review of WITCHES in a few days), I can say she has a distinct writing style: her prose is smooth; her images vivid, and she pays a lot of attention to the characters, often getting lost in the details–but, as far as I’m concerned, the same goes for Stephen King and Anne Rice, so…
Another thing I noticed about her style is that, even though there’s a high body count and the manner of deaths is gruesome, her horror is ‘soft’ and one that won’t offend the average reader. In other words, no slasher scenes and the murders are more often alluded upon than graphically described.
Dinosaur Lake has several subplots that don’t get in the way of the main story. I also like the way Griffith weaves in and portrays various themes such as man over beast, nature against man, the evilness of greed and the power of friendship.
Is it a page-turner? No. But it is a suspenseful novel with realistic, compelling characters. I enjoyed reading Dinosaur Lake and can honestly recommend it.
One last thing I’d like to add is that I’m glad I discovered Griffith because back in the nineties she was one of the horror authors writing for Leisure Books. I was a big fan of this publisher back then. Many of her Leisure titles (among them, WITCHES) are now being republished by Damnation Books.
Find out more about this author on Author’s Den.