Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Loch-Steve Alten

The Loch
Steve Alten
Tor, Apr 2009, $9.99
ISBN: 076536302X

Marine biologist Zach Wallace is on a National geographic quest to find the famous recluse the Sargasso Sea giant squid when tragedy strikes. He is fortunate to survive though he comes out of the calamity with feelings of Aquaphobia not a good thing for marine biologist and dumped by his fiancée Lisa. He is unsure what is next for him when he is asked to come home. Though he would prefer not returning to his birthplace in Scotland as he remains angry with his father Angus for cheating on his mother who took him to live with her in NYC seventeen years ago, Zach has no choice.

His dad is on trial for killing his business partner John Cialini, Jr. Angus claims he is innocent. He admits they had a fight and he punched John who fell into Loch Ness when something in the water killed his partner. John’s wealthy and influential family want blood and England quietly since the terrorist attacks has reinstated capital punishment. Zach investigates his father’s claim as do a zillion tourists, adrenaline freaks, scientists, and the media as the Wallace murder case becomes the latest crime of the century. Soon human body parts partially eaten wash ashore, which adds to the Nessy seekers.

This is an enjoyable Loch Ness thriller filled with action. The story line is fast-paced from the misadventures in the Sargasso Sea to the mass of people in the hero’s way at Loch Ness. Zach knows he must overcome his feelings of inadequacy and his fear of the water if he is to save his estrange dad’s life. Although the Scottish enunciations add a sense of place, I personally find it distracting from what is otherwise another winning watery adventure tale (see the MEG saga).

Harriet Klausner

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