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Chapter One

Yallingup, Western Australia

If Montana had known the surfers milling about on the white beach thought her to be both brave and totally insane, she would have been puzzled, but right at that moment, she was too busy to care.

Today, the Bommie was living up to its reputation. The twenty-foot waves on offer could easily dump a rider on his ass right on top of shards of reef. They were keeping even the most dedicated surfer with his feet planted firmly in the baking white sand. Most of the surfers stood in the shade, staring out at the heaving green peaks and troughs, wishing they had the guts to take a run at it. At the very least they would be hailed for their courage while they recuperated in hospital.

“So when are you humping that bloody great lump of board of yours out there, Jacko?” The loud question came from one of the surfers lined up along the edge of the only available shade, cast by a patch of prickly acacias gasping for life in the arid sand. They were thigh-high bushes which were useless for anything but providing relief to bare feet from the burning white sand. The rutty bantam of a man was speaking to the tanned, bleached surfer at the end of the ragged audience.

Jacko had planted one of the long, traditional Malibu boards heel down in the sand and was propping himself up with it. “Get knotted,” he offered, not bothering to look around. His accent was a rich Afrikaans.

“Hey, no problems,” Bruce shot back. “You don’t have the balls for it. I get ya, mate.” The cocky bantam gave Jacko a great, easy grin.

“It isn’t balls you need to go out there,” Jacko announced. “It’s a healthy dose of insanity.”

Bruce pushed his bare toes through the fine white sand. A few paces beyond the bushes it was too hot to stand on but just here it warmed their feet and tickled between their toes. “Crazy prob’ly explains what Greg is doing out there, then.”

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