Tuesday, September 4, 2007

"When One Man Dies"

Dave White is a crime writer with numerous stories to his credit; his debut novel When One Man Dies is due out this month.

He applied the Page 69 Test to the new novel and reported the following:
I was afraid that page 69 would be one of those short chapters that only served to transition one scene to the next. However, it is the beginning of a scene where private detective Jackson Donne meets someone who can help him with his case on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. The scene really plays up one of New Jersey’s former famous landmarks, now breaking down because of age and poverty.

Donne notices the closed down amusements before talking to Tracy, a jazz musician.

“Not playing the Stone Pony?”

She tilted her head, crossed her eyes, like saying, “Come on.” “I think only Springsteen plays there. Rehearses just before he plays twenty straight nights at Giants Stadium or whatever it is.”

“Not a fan?”

“Please. I’d take Sinatra and Bon Jovi as New Jersey’s signature musicians before I’d take Bruce.”

While not much happens on the page, I think this section represents what parts of the Jersey shore has become and does a nice job setting the scene. People used to flock to the Stone Pony to see Bruce, the Asbury Jukes and whoever else used to play there. It was a very famous music club back in the day. However, with the decline of the city, the Stone Pony also fell apart -- opening and then going out of business several times.

At the same time, this scene also plays up some of the banter between Donne and Tracy, which will help strengthen their relationship later in the novel. Tracy is the lead female character in the book and the back-and-forth she has with Donne was going to have to be believable.

And the conversation is one you can hear at almost any bar in New Jersey.
Read more about When One Man Dies at Dave White's website and his blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue