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The Loch Hardcover – April 1, 2005

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Something hungry is in the loch . . and it's not the gentle Nessie of Scottish lore! Marine biologist Zach Wallace, fresh from a near drowning in the Sargasso Sea during an expedition in search of the elusive giant squid, returns to his Scottish birthplace when his estranged father is accused of murder. Unfortunately for Zach's father, Angus, his entire defense hinges on his claim that "something" in Loch Ness killed his business partner when he fell into the water after Angus punched him. But the trial soon becomes a media circus when more people go missing and half-eaten body parts are discovered along the shore. Zach must contend with rival scientists, interfering thrill seekers, and even a rogue remnant of the Knights Templar in his search for what is really lurking in Loch Ness. The "authentic" Scots dialect gets tedious after a while, but this page-turner will make great beach reading. Recommended for all popular fiction collections, especially where the author's previous adventure novels have proven hard to keep on the shelf. Michael Gannon
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Riveting…I'm glad I'm not in a boat, on the Loch, at night. (George Noory, host of Coast to Coast AM)

With The Loch Steve Alten combines meticulous research with riveting storytelling to craft a new genre--the historical science fiction thriller. (Washington Daily News)

The Loch is a compelling page-turner. I couldn't put it down. Steve Alten has proven to be a literary master of the abyss. (Owl Goingback, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of CROTA)

A fast-paced thriller…Alten gives a scientific twist to an old, enduring myth…Michael Crichton meets Dan Brown beneath the waves of Loch Ness. (Dennis Palumbo, author of Writing from the Inside Out) --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Tsunami Books; First Edition edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976165902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976165903
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 MEG; A Novel of Deep Terror. Steve sold his car to pay for editing fees. On September (Friday) the 13th, 1996, Steve lost his general manager's job at a wholesale meat plant. Four days later his agent had a two-book deal with Bantam Doubleday.

MEG would go on to become the book of the 1996 Frankfurt book fair, where it eventually sold to more than a twenty countries. MEG hit every major best-seller list, including #19 on the New York Times list (#7 audio), and became a popular radio series in Japan.

Steve's second release, The TRENCH (Meg sequel) was published by Kensington/Pinnacle in 1999 where it also hit best-seller status. His next novel, DOMAIN and its sequel, RESURRECTION were published by St. Martin's Press/Tor Books and were runaway best-sellers in Spain, Mexico, Germany, and Italy, with the rights selling to more than a dozen countries.

Steve's fourth novel, GOLIATH, received rave reviews and was a big hit in Germany. It is being considered for a TV series. MEG: Primal Waters was published in the summer of 2004. A year later his seventh novel, The LOCH, hit stores -- a modern-day thriller about the Loch Ness Monster. Steve's eighth novel, The SHELL GAME, is about the end of oil and the next 9/11 event. The book was another NY Times best-seller, but the stress of penning this real-life story affected Steve's health, and three months after he finished the manuscript he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Steve's ninth novel, MEG: Hell's Aquarium, is considered to be the best of the best-selling MEG series. Steve says his best novel is GRIM REAPER: End of Days. The story, a modern-day Dante's Inferno, takes place in New York when a man-made plague strikes Manhattan. The release date was 10-10-10. His eleventh novel. PHOBOS: Mayan Fear is the third in the Domain series and will debut in the Fall of 2011 (Tor/Forge).

Steve's novels are action-packed and very visual. He has optioned DOMAIN, MEG and The LOCH to film producers. Steve has written six original screenplays. His comedy, HARLEM SHUFFLE was a semi-finalist in the LA screenwriting contest, his psychological thriller, STRANGLEHOLD, was selected as a finalist at the Philadelphia film festival and his reality series, HOUSE OF BABEL won at Scriptapalooza. He has also created a TV Drama, PAPA JOHN, based on his years coaching basketball with hall of Fame coach John Chaney.

Over the years, Steve has been inundated with e-mail from teens who hated reading ...until they read his novels. When he learned high school teachers were actually using his books in the classroom (MEG had been rated #1 book for reluctant readers) Steve launched Adopt-An-Author, a nationwide non-profit program designed to encourage students to read. Teachers who register for the program (it's free) receive giant shark posters, free curriculum materials, student-author correspondence, an interactive website, and classroom conference calls/visits with the author. To date, over 10,000 teachers have registered, and the success rate in getting teens to read has been unprecedented. Steve now spends half his work week working with high schools. For more information click on

As an author, Steve has two goals. First, to continue to work hard to become a better storyteller and create exciting page turning thrillers. Second, to remain accessible to his readers. Steve reads and answers all e-mails, uses the names and descriptions of his loyal fans as characters in all his novels, and even hires readers as editors, depending on their particular expertise.

For more information, contact the author at
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Edwards VINE VOICE on April 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have been a HUGE fan of Steve Alten and his boundless imagination ever since he published 'Meg' several years ago. My how time flies and Steve has continued to thrill and impress me over and over again. If you have read some of his earlier stuff, you KNOW he can spin a yarn about mythical, or even prehistoric monsters...but how will he do with one of the best known myths of the past 100 years? In a word: GREAT.

This story captures you virtually from the first page. Written in first person, I immediately found it engaging and it kept me highly interested in what would happen next. I could hardly turn the pages fast enough. I KNOW that sounds like a tired and overused cliche, but with Steve Alten, it simply is TRUE.

The entire Wallace family has deep roots in Scotland, and more specifically, in and around famous Loch Ness. The latest Wallace (Marine Biologist Zachary) intends to break these roots as he finds himself terribly estranged from his Father Angus, who would rather find warmth in the arms of virtually any woman other than his wife. Zach moves with his American Mother back to the States and because of a deep hatred of his Father, works twice as hard to prove himself -- not to his Dad, but to himself. Eventually he succeeds becoming world renown and teams with National Geographic to attempt to capture on film a living Giant Squid in the Sargasso Sea. The resulting tragic accident nearly kills Zach and plunges him into a bottomless pit which quickly spins out of control. Out of a job, home and with the sudden phobia of the water, Zach simply doesn't know where to turn, until his half brother unexpectedly shows up begging him to come back to Scotland and help support their Father who is on trial for murder.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've followed Steve Alten's Meg series since they first came out. He has a knack for making some genuinely strange biology digestible and creating cryptozoological horror stories that almost seem based on fact. This time Alten has taken on one of the world's favorite hidden creatures - the Loch Ness monster. He does this in truly original fashion, mixing in Knight Templar legend, Scottish history, Darwin, and a handful of other tidbits to create a story that is part horror and part the story Zachary Wallace, an oceanographer trying to recover from a near fatal encounter with a giant squid.

Zachary returns to Scotland and the Loch at the request of his father, who is standing trial for a murder that might have been committed by the monster. Zach's relationship with his father is a bad one, and now he is drawn into the quest for Nessie reluctantly. For one thing he doesn't believe in the creature, and for another he is still terrified of the water after his accident. Gradually, Zach realizes that there is something going on in the Loch, but it is something even worse than the world's longest-lived plesiosaur.

Staying current on literary fads, Alten mixes in the story of Zachary's ancestor, Sir Adam Wallace, who returns to Scotland from the Holy Land with a group of Templars bearing a sacred relic of the Braveheart. The nightmarish tale is the truth behind the murder and the many death's and disappearances that haunt Loch Ness. But the Knights Templar are now the Black Knights and they guard their secrets passionately.

Alten has returned to the original formula of Meg for this story, a scientist trying to recover from the shock of a deep sea accident, and then layered in some more current interests of popular fiction. He almost makes this a complete success.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In this case more specifically Nessie made an Elevenses out of the business associate of the father of Marine Biologist Zach Wallace. Wallace is coming home after nearly drowning in the Sargasso Sea. He was on an expedition in search of a giant squid. His return home is not something he is expected to be a happy occasion. Angus, his father and he are estranged. Worse, the father is under a lot of stress since he is accused of murdering his business partner.

Things fall to Zach to help prove his father's innocent based on the claim there really is something in the loch, Nessie or otherwise, and it occasionally likes a people appetizer. The sole defence Zach's father puts forth was that "something" are his business partner. Of course, since this slander against Nessie comes on the fact Angus had just punched his partner in the face causing him to fall into the water, it doesn't help to make people believe Angus. As the case goes to trial it becomes a media event - would you expect otherwise? But this mania is blown full force when more people begin to go a-missing and half-eaten body parts are discovered along the shore of the Ness.

Zach must have to come to terms with his father and their estrangement, build a bridge so he can mount a defence to prove Angus is telling the truth. Not only must Zach put with news hounds, he must deal with Nessie Watchers, rival scientists and even a Knights Templar.

Written in first person, Zach's narrative hooks the reader. From Zach's coming to terms with his estrangement from his country of birth, his father, to just what is Angus really up to - did something get his partner or is this a convenient way to commit murder and get away with it - Alten keeps you guessing the whole way.

Fans of Alten won't want to miss this one. Not a fan? This is a good place to become one. Riveting storytelling.

Slainte Mohr!!
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