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Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite
Hunter H. White's novel Treasures of the Lochs is a well-crafted contemporary fantasy thriller connecting ancient and modern times. The story is inspired by a Scottish historical mystery, interwoven with mythology, magic, and murder. In the 18th century, the Jacobite uprising in Scotland was financed by Spanish gold. Legends tell that the Jacobite gold lies hidden in Loch Arkaig. Hassie Douglass is a young Scottish woman struggling to support herself and her grandfather. She works at the Bonnie Ness Inn near Loch Ness and is excited when she discovers four gold coins in the water near the shore. Are they part of the fabled Loch Arkaig Jacobite treasure? Lieutenant Carter Porter is in the US Marine Corps, struggling to keep his personal life and career from falling apart. Carter's father has left him a journal that is part of their family history. Intrigued by references to the Jacobites and their treasure, Carter flies to Inverness, Scotland. The suspense is gripping as Hassie and Carter find themselves hunted by others also searching for the Jacobite treasure.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Hunter H. White's Treasures of the Lochs, an action-packed thriller with many remarkable characters. I particularly liked the development of the two principal protagonists, Carter Porter and Hassie Douglass. The vivid descriptions, the expressive and intense dialogue, and the drama of interpersonal relationships pulled me into the story, and the characters sprang to life. I think the most powerful scenes were when Hassie and Carter face a relentless enemy determined to find the Jacobite treasure and who would not hesitate to kill. I loved the worldbuilding of the Loch Ness mystery, richly imagined and evocative magic and enchantment, and the legends and search for treasure. I could picture Hassie along the shores of Loch Ness, her curiosity, and how she finds courage and comfort. I think the most poignant moments were her loyalty and determination to care for her grandfather. I liked how Carter is compelled to face his inner struggles of loss, anguish, and remorse, and how he finds the courage and steadfast determination to help Hassie. Weaving fact and fiction, Treasure of the Lochs is a fantastic multilayered tale about a treasure hunt, hope, loyalty, courage, family, and friends.