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White Death Paperback – 1 Aug 2001

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About the Author

Tony B Burch is a shark fisherman on St. Simons Island, GA. He was born in 197. He is married to Simone Ressner. He completed a degree in Communications/Journalism from Jacksonville University in 2001.

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Don't go in the water! 13 Nov. 2001
By "kathrynlively" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The water along the Georgia Coast is thickening with the blood of beachgoers, leaving many businesspeople distraught not only at the threat to their safety but the threat of a poor tourist season. Locals theorize that changes in the environmental climate have attracted a great white to the sleepy hamlet's shores, thereby unleashing a summer of white death.
While shark fisherman Luke Brock is concerned for the townspeople's safety, his focus shifts from helping to catch the beast to helping rescue the woman he loves from another white death. As a result, he is a constant target for scornful Mabel's venom, barbs he refuses to take seriously since he is certain the drugs are talking for her. That the local law enforcement is slow to bust the drug chain is baffling at first, until one realizes that certain local businessman are not at all bothered when the t-shirts and souvenir keychains move slower than their real "inventory."
White Death is a tense debut thriller, peppered with more than one mystery. Burch, whose authority on sharks and shark fishing has been bolstered by numerous appearances on radio and TV in the North Florida area, employs a present-tense style to the story, creating a suspenseful immediacy which highlights the action, especially during his graphic scenes of the shark attacking its prey. In Luke he has created a mysterious hero, a man who desires a love he cannot have (Mabel), yet refuses what likely could be a more healthy, albeit long-distance, relationship. Despite the motley assortment of yokel fisherman and spaced-out teenagers, Luke quietly keeps his calm and his focus -- to obliterate white death in all its forms.
Burch writes with an air of accuracy, able to instill a sense of discomfort in anyone daring to test the ocean. I found it somewhat of a bizarre coincidence that White Death was released late this summer in the wake of shark attacks off the East Coast. This is a story that may cause you to rethink that vacation at the beach.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Sloppy but competent genre fiction 8 July 2004
By Greg Hirst - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Tony B Burch tries his hand at the old shark-in-the-water game with WHITE DEATH, a vanity-publication book with flair and some serious bite.
WHITE DEATH really owes a lot to the original JAWS novel by Peter Benchley. After a brief opening encounter, the book spends a lot of time with its characters, who, like Benchley's, are miserable most of the time. There is also a helping of underground business affairs that keep the characters in danger on land.
It really takes a while to get into this book. The text jumps from scene to scene with simple paragraph breaks. The third-person-omniscient makes it difficult to identify with characters' emotion as the viewpoint jumps from person to person at random. The book is rife with puntuation blunders that will have sticklers reaching for thier Pepto-Bismol, (Although Burch does, in fact, know how to use a semicolon, and he does quite well)
There are too many characters, many of whom have similar names an act alike. I would have liked to have seen more time spend with the likes of Neb and Mack, for instance. The opening chapters are also the worst, as Burch clumsily juggles events while trying to establish all the plot points. Burch glorifies the main character Luke's contempt for tourists; I felt almost alienated from him because I wasn't a shark fisherman when he ripped apart a tourist's camera. Some of the dramatic dialogue is also pretty pretentious.
I'm pleased to report, however, that these issues dissipate as the book goes along. Once I settled into the grind of things, I enjoyed reading this book.
Vanity publication offers pathetic punctuation editing, and that is obvious from the awkward text. I think Burch himself would have done a gone enough job if he had simply read through the book once more. It's a shame that he didn't, because it hurts the narrative, from which it is easy to see that Burch has a great deal of talent. In some sections, the dialogue and narrative crackles.
Luke, the anti-hero, is an intriguing character. We identify with his dilemma with Mabel, the object of his parental/pseudo-lusty love. We know he cares for her, but sometimes we just want to tell him to hit her. There are a lot times when I wanted to simply yell at Luke and say "Just hit her!" or "Eat something already!"
He makes a good advesary for the killer of the book, a 36 foot shark with some odd tendancies, including eviscerating beach-fuls of children and drug smugglers. Remove the bland opening attack and the shark scenes vibrate with tension and visceral horror. The subplots and human drama sneak past our defenses and end up ringing true. The resolution is appropriate but sloppy.
WHITE DEATH deserves a better chance. Another read-through for errors and a trimming down of the opening hundred pages would help immensely. Even despite this, the book packs a hefty overall punch.
I give it three-and-a-half stars for having all the right stuff in a sloppy, unpolished format.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Modern Literary Marvel White Death 4 Feb. 2002
By Bruce Ressner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
WD = cocaine
reads like a script for TV - series of bytes - fast read, keeps the interest, good
description of scenes & actions: could taste, smell, see, feel the scene & emotions

my critque:
editor missed four (my count) faulty line breaks in sentences & about 6 typos (there or
their, he or she, etc)
there's NO WAY our fed agencies (FBI or EPA) would react that fast (1 day - that's real
SciFi) - must have stake outs, water testing, interviews, court ordered depositions -
definitely budgeting & contracting for cement trucks way after site survey by hazmat
crew) & NO WAY United States Navy going to give up a weapon for domestic police work, not to a civilian agency, especially a state or county or town authority)
If Luke, the main character is so observant, why didn't he notice the gizmo on his pier from the "USCG", in any event it's NOAA that monitors weather, not USCG
Has good images of Mabel as a crack whore, but way too blatant in a very small town where Yang would definitely not want attention of that sort if he had half a brain
Luke could not maintain a week's physical activity on the diet described - at least some
PJ sandwiches needed.
Sex among all concerned that are not locals seems to be 19/yr/old view from hustler/playboy -even frustrated/spurned women who are married want lead up to sin unless well practiced. I can understand the monser's actions, no explanation of the homing guidance to allow for such seeming self-targeting & reaction ability or why the beach kids or initial food got eaten
not bad for grade B SciFi/ autobiographical
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