Passengers are contemptuous of the food, the crew, the tired and ugly seaports and particularly of each other. Then during a severe storm and in the treacherous waters of the coastal shipping lanes of British Columbia, the freighter collides with an oil tanker with the apparent loss of life of everyone on board. Yet incredulously, Ryan and five other passengers are alive, trapped in an airtight compartment in the bow of the freighter, perilously perched on a subterranean shelf 624 feet below the surface.
Ryan soon discovers an A.R.S. - a system used for scrubbing the air installed in this compartment, is providing their life support. But, for how long? Would anyone even know they were still alive?
When a submarine picks up a signal from the sunken bow and with suspicions already aroused by the circumstances surrounding the collision, the US Navy scrambles to begin a covert rescue operation.
In a valiant attempt to keep their spirits hopeful, Ryan begins to realize that his fellow passengers are far more than just victims. One of them could be dangerously insane, or a cold-blooded killer.
The Reverent Gilbert Manchester, a Baptist Missionary being recalled from Kyoto, Japan. A remote, brooding man full of vengeance at man's evel deeds.
Eddie Derosa - a shy, dangerous weasel of a man, intent on surviving at any cost.
Melanie Kincaid - a young, pretty nurse who seems to reflect a personal concern for the dignity of life - or is it death?
Gerald Banning - an aging homosexual from New York, terrified of life and even more terrified of dying.
Anna Langford - a private school teacher, looking forward to her retirement until her opes and fears begin to feed in her murderous imagination.
On the surface while weather conditions owrsen, mysterious delays lead to the suspicion of sabotage and then to the unthinkable possibility of terrorism. In their tomb at 624 feet as the recirculated air supply dwindles, the fate of the survivors takes a deadly turn. First one passenger dies, then another. And then in a grisly "accident", a third. Ryan must face the horrifying truth that they have been murdered. While the killer's identity remains unknown, he must now defend himself and try and uncover the identity of the murderer.
In the last desperate house and minutes remaining before the bow is to be brought to the surface, hairline cracks begin to shift the buoyancy and threaten to send the bow and the survivors to certain death on the ocean floor two miles below.
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