The Loch

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The Loch

Last Free Dates: 19th Feb 18 to 23rd Feb 18
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...a fairly standard entry into the Monster/horror genre, but might be of interest to anyone trying to get a feel for the author's writing....

An old man waiting by the Loch side for something to rise from the depths of the loch. Four campers choosing the wrong night to get back to nature. A storm in the scottish night…

Yes this is a horror story set by Loch Ness. Well-written, with decently developed characters, and some set-up, it has one major problem: it used almost every single trope and cliche for the monster/slasher genre, played straight. From a dark and stormy night, sex=death, drunk teenagers in the wrong place, a lone guardian, and even splitting the party, it plays out as expected. The gore is surprisingly subtle and reminded me of Peter Benchley’s Jaws, with victims trying to touch limbs that are no longer there, suffering from shock that prevents them immediately knowing the damage. One thing that threw me initially was the measurements of the creature. For once it is actually not that big if you start working out sizes like bite radius. It is still an effective killer, however and this works as it explains why people don’t hear it coming.

For readers of the monster or horror genre this might tread ground that’s a little too familiar to be scary. That’s not to say it is badly written, however, as the writing flows, the impressions created are vivid, and several of the encounters are genuinely atmospheric. The flaws aren’t the author’s, more that Nessie and lake monsters are a popular topic for fiction and in a short story there is little an author can make his own to make the book stand out. I’d like to see what he could do with a longer book.

The only bit I’ll fault the story on outright is forgetting basic water safety and sending someone to the water’s edge, in the dark, during a rain storm, alone. That was close to a book-against-wall moment.

It is a three. Its a fairly standard entry into the Monster/horror genre, but might be of interest to anyone trying to get a feel for the author’s writing.

Rating: 3
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Tregaron (11 April 2016)
It's pretty standard monster fair really, just notable for the old man being from my point of view, a spectacularly nasty person who deliberately gets the people who save his life killed. The problem is I think you are supposed to sympathise with him, and that just made it really hard for me to get into the book. This isn't Spiderstalk or Dinosaur Lake. There's no fun, and the horror just doesn't really work for me when I think about it.

rz3300 (23 September 2016)
Given the fact that Halloween is quickly approaching, I think that I need to step up my game when it comes to monsters and the horror genre in general, so this one will fit in nicely there. I like the simplicity of the title too, and I am intrigued to see what it has to offer.

clair02 (24 September 2016)
I've never been a really big fan of horror, unless maybe there is some science fiction woven into it somehow. For a horror genre book to really hold my attention, it would have to be seriously scary and very well written and believable. I don't know about this one, but I hope the other horror lovers like it.

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