David Dun Bestselling Thriller Author
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International Thriller Writers Bestselling Thriller Writer David Dun
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Sunday morning, three days
  after Thanksgiving.

–   P R O L O G U E  –

The shock of no air hit him at the same instant someone pulled his mask loose from behind, filling it with icy water. Despite the shock, Ben’s diver’s mind instinctively began a countdown: He had two minutes.

Ben couldn’t sense his attacker’s location – the other diver had to be staying behind him, hovering at the edge of a forest of kelp where Ben had been concentrating on a broken pump. Forcing himself to stay calm, he tried reaching up for his air hose, hoping to follow it with his fingers to the mouthpiece. But his assailant had looped his right wrist with a restraint. Ben struggled against the cuff, quickly realizing that his left wrist had also been fastened.

It had been perhaps fifteen seconds since his last breath. He pulled frantically on both the lines, but seemed only to tighten the restraints around his wrists. In the blur he saw that the material around his wrists led to some sort of white line around his torso and thighs. It was a simple but effective binding slipped on from behind in the distraction of work. Ben had no time to solve it.

Compressed air pumped into the seawater behind his head, making a tantalizing bubbling sound. He wrenched his arms and reached for the air button on his buoyancy compensator to inflate and ascend. By hunching over he could barely push the valve. Instead of the comforting feeling of an inflated vest, a torrent of bubbles escaped the BC. The other diver had opened the release valve when Ben used the compressed air.

He tried hard kicks to propel himself to the surface, but his restraints seemed to be tied to the net wall of the octopus pen.

Panic set in. He forced himself to think of something else. umping air into his dry suit wouldn’t work because his assailant had opened the heavy zipper on his back. Releasing his weight belt might help. Ben had enough leeway to unbuckle it, but when it fell away he didn’t ascend. It hung on him somehow, perhaps clipped to the lines at his thighs.

Almost unconsciously, Ben’s fingers inched toward the backup mouthpiece velcroed to the BC at his chest. The lines at his wrists were too short; he couldn’t bring it to his mouth. He hunched over but his lips came just short of the mouthpiece.

     Chapter I     Chapter II     Chapter III
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