An ostentatiously luxurious super yacht. The endless cerulean blue of the Indian Ocean. The sun warming your skin. Sounds like heaven? Not when you are hostage aboard, captured by bandits, waiting for the ship’s owner to pay the ransom for your release and you find out he’s going bankrupt. This is a story about paradise becoming a prison.
When super yacht Talisman is hijacked on her way home to Cyprus from the Seychelles, stewardess Rachel still thinks she’ll be spending Christmas in Cornwall. But negotiations with the owner, businessman Herr Liebe, now in Paris on the last leg of his honeymoon, leave his crew high and dry and moored a mile off the coast of Somalia, a warship impotently looking on.
Captive aboard, living with their gun toting, khat chewing guards, the crew’s belongings are ransacked and their supplies commandeered. Lars, the ship’s captain, refuses increasingly forceful attempts to move them off the boat onto land, fearing that Herr Liebe’s overriding concern is for Talisman and not the human lives aboard. He also knows that separated from the boat they will be virtually impossible to find in this lawless state.
The arrival of the gang’s translator and negotiator, Omar, a Boston educated, spectacle-wearing Somali, renews hope for their release, and to Rachel’s delight, he can also play Scrabble. But at what price their freedom?