White Shark

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

WHITE SHARK opens with a vignette of Dr. Kruger, a German scientist fleeing allies at the end of World War II. In a desperate attempt to escape detection, his submarine is lost along with his mysterious cargo. The wreck and Kruger’s bronze box are discovered fifty-one years later by a NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC photographer, eager for a story, who privately pries open his find. That night the bronze box is lost overboard and only a bloody camera remains.

At this point the main characters are introduced: Simon Chase, the shark expert who operates a research institute on a New England island near the wreck; Max Chase, Simon’s son who is visiting for the month; and Tall Man Palmer, Chase’s trusty Native American giant handyman. Together the threesome study sharks, until a series of several strange events occur. First, while exploring the island, Max falls on a deer carcass and is cut by a stainless steel, grooved tooth. Slaughtered bodies of two young brothers are found on the shores of Waterboro, a nearby town. Chase then finds dozens of dead birds and injured dolphins while boating. All of the killings had one thing in common: five deep slashes. Amanda Macy, a scientist working with four trained sea lions, moves to the island to do research at Chase’s institute. While following whales, one of Amanda’s marked sea lions fails to return. Film from its headgear showed that something was frightening the sea lion. The mysterious creature is forced to return to land to find more food. As it approaches Chase’s house, a quick plan is devised. Execution is critical and the stakes are high when the creature enters.