Amber has no reason to leave the daily turmoil of life aboard a prison ship, created to house those with the violent Cleaven gene. Though now rehabilitated, she has chosen to stay and counsel the inmates who struggle to come to terms with their imprisonment. Possessing extraordinary gifts - an ability to assess situations with perfect clarity and to feel the emotions of others - her skills are in great demand in the volatile environment of the ship.
Jaden, also rehabilitated and with the special gift of mind reading, ploughs the seas on board the boat that delivers supplies and prisoners to and from the ship.
Amber and Jaden are thrown together when the prisoners rebel and an explosion breaches the hull of the ship during a storm. Together they battle the elements, a new, cold-eyed prisoner who has Amber in his sights and their traumatic pasts which sent them to the ship in the first place.
EXTRACT FROM CRASH INTO DARKNESS
On Amber’s fourth trip back up the steps, laden with food supplies, she heard a crack. A crack which stilled the blood in her veins.
She turned slowly, her arms gripping a carton of canned peas, and saw the wall move. It wavered like a fish tail and collapsed in a rush of death water. It frothed and foamed, ripped and tore its way across the room towards Jaden.
“Get out,” she screamed at him.
He dropped the box and started towards her.
But the water moved faster.
It picked him up and threw him across the room sweeping cartons alongside him. His dark head disappeared from sight, and Amber searched frantically for him. She stepped backwards up the steps away from the approaching water. She had to seal off the room.
He had saved her when they had fallen from the boat, and now she remained powerless to help him.
“Jaden,” she shrieked, her voice hoarse and desperate.
The water rushed across her shoes, and she ran up to the door. She turned at the top. How could she ask for the room to be sealed with him still inside? Saturated cartons, cans of food, churned in a soup of bubbling flour and rice slop. “Hold your breath,” she willed him. “Just hold your breath.”
He burst from the swirling waters, his mouth open, sucking in air and sank under again. The water had crept halfway up the stairs. Soon, it would spill into the corridor, and the door wouldn’t shut. Amber couldn’t leave him. She whipped her belt from her jeans, pulled her sweater over her head and tied one sleeve to the buckle. She urged him again to hold his breath and waited, her gaze darting about for a glimpse of his dark head.
He erupted into the air, and she threw the line. He saw it coming and reached out before disappearing. A sharp tug on the belt, and she pulled with a strength born of desperation. Hand over hand, she hauled the line, fighting against the current.
The line slackened, and Jaden dragged himself from the water, climbing up the last steps on his hands and knees. She bent down and grabbed his arm.
He stood, and they staggered together out the door. Jaden kicked the door shut while Amber grabbed the radio from her pocket and shouted into it. “Seal cargo door one. Now.”
The door locked down, water tight and she collapsed onto the ground beside Jaden.
“Dear Jesus in Heaven, I almost saw him that time,” spluttered Jaden. He glanced at her half-naked state and pulled off his jacket, and then paused. He took her arm and stared down at the criss-cross of scars. He looked up at her.
“Please don’t ask,” she said. “That’s my past.”
The sympathy in his eyes felt almost unbearable, but then he blinked as if coming back from a far off place. “An unclothed woman on a prison ship,” he said, “is probably not a good idea..."