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HOME >> Product 0620 >> The Terror Below>>

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The Terror Below

Douglas Elliot Pike

Eric Cage, still guilt-ridden over the drowning death of his six-year-old son, Ethan, three years prior, is asked to retrieve the body of a friend's son, who, while scuba diving, perished aboard a mysterious shipwreck discovered off the coast of Boston.

Eric, a former U.S. Navy diver, is initially reluctant, but ultimately coaxed into accepting by his live-in lover and partner-in-adventure, Urabelle Jones—and the ghost of the young diver's father, who perished in a failed attempt to extricate his son from the wreck.


The mission subjected to serious setbacks, primarily at the hands of a competing group of divers who scavenge wrecks for profit.

If Eric's team can somehow outfox them, they just might succeed, although the ghosts of the former wreck are dead set against that ever happening.





33057 Words





Cover Art:

T.L. Davison


Palvi Sharma


Douglas E. Pike

ISBN Number:


Available Formats:

PDF; Palm (PDB); Nook, Iphone, Ipad, Android (EPUB); Older Kindle (MOBI); Newer Kindle (AZW3);




UNDER A SIX-SHADES-of-gray sky, thirty miles off the coast of Boston, the Lady Luck, thirty-five feet of rust, leaks and peeled paint, coughed and sputtered its way through choppy, dark Atlantic water. It was headed due east, just after dawn.

Geysers of white spray shot up as its barnacle-encrusted hull alternately slapped frothy wave crests and troughs.

The ceaseless grind of its rebuilt diesel engine was deafening. Thick black exhaust spilled out from its stern and swirled away.

Inside the boat's forward cabin, bleary-eyed Charlie Davenport, the Lady Luck's owner, grasped the wheel with bony, white-knuckled hands. A healthy captain would have had difficulty staying on course under the present conditions. For Davenport, emaciated and chronically sick from a diet consisting mostly of distilled liquids, it was nearly impossible.

Styrofoam coffee cup within his fingertips, he briefly released the wheel, and pulled out a nearly drained half pint of rum from inside his grimy windbreaker.

Momentarily unguided, the ship lurched to port. Davenport, uncaring, focused on the higher priority of sloshing booze into the cup. Some made it in—more ended up on his shaky blue hand.

“Shit!” he shouted. Davenport stowed the bottle, took a sip, and smacked his hands back on the wheel.

The sudden, loud bang of metal striking metal caused him to drop the cup. It hit the deck and emptied onto his already soaked deck shoes. Davenport bared rotten teeth, turned his head and glared over his shoulder at his paying customers, five scuba divers who had dared to go out on a poor-excuse-for-a-boat, captained by a drunk with an improbable story.

“For Christ's sake, Sanchez, secure that friggin' air tank! My insurance ain't paid up. If you blow yourself to pieces, all your widow gets is chum!” shouted the captain.

Standing mid-ship, dark-haired Mike Sanchez fought to maintain his balance, nodded and secured the aluminum tank with a bungee cord.

“You own a damn dive shop,” added Davenport. “You of all people should know better.”

Sanchez, normally soft-spoken, had enough. “If you kept your hands on the wheel as much as you do the booze bottle, Charlie, maybe our shit wouldn't fly around like inside a blender.”

Sanchez noticed that Davenport had long since turned his back on him and ignored his retort. He shook his head, gave Davenport the finger anyway, then retested the bungee cord.

Paul Yogman, another diver, entered the cabin, stood next to Davenport, who failed to acknowledge his presence. The ship pitched, forcing Yogman to quickly grab an overhead grip. Thirty and tall, the cramped quarters forced Yogman to crouch down somewhat, an uncomfortable position made worse by his bulky dry suit.

Yogman gave his chewing gum an extra workout before spitting it out the side window. He turned back to Charlie, intent to break the silence. “Was it this bad when you took that group fishing last week?”

Charlie squatted, picked up the styrofoam cup at his feet and drank whatever remained in it. His gaze remained fixed on the Lady Luck's pitching bow.

Yogman, determined, gave it another try. “Charlie Davenport, you like you've been dead for a week.”

A long pause followed.

“It's only late summer, Yogman. Wait till you see how I look come winter.”

Yogman smiled. “All right. Now I at least know you haven't gone deaf.”

Davenport finally looked at Yogman, softened his tone of voice. “Yeah, Paul, it was like this for the first half of the day.”

Davenport returned his gaze seaward.

“And you're convinced it's a wreck you hooked onto? Charts don't show any out here. I've looked at them all.”

Davenport bobbed his head, adjusted the brim of his sweat-stained cap. “I've discovered enough wrecks in my day to know.” He turned to Yogman. “I'd bet my left nut on this one.”

Yogman held on to the grip extra tightly as the Lady Luck took on a brutal wave. “Anyone besides you know the coordinates?”

Charlie bit his lower lip and gave Yogman a quick, angry side glance. “If you're worried about that prick, Miranski, the answer is no.”

* * *

YELLING FROM THE ship's stern broke above the engine noise. Startled, Charlie and Yogman turned in its direction..

Divers Tom Curtis, Sanchez and the father-and-son team of Al and Max Weber were wildly swinging their arms at curious invaders.

Flying fish, dozens of them, nearly a foot long streaked across the boat from port to starboard. Their long, pointed fins, used as wings, allowed the marine creatures to break the water's surface and fly distances of a quarter mile or more.

“Look at 'em! Holy crap! I don't believe it!” blared Curtis. Flailing away, his powerful hands struck and deflected a number of them.

“There's hundreds!” added gray-haired Al Weber.

Sanchez madly swung his diving hood with one hand, and protected his face with the other. Young Max Weber had success swatting them with one of his fins.

The specimens that struck the deck were markedly uncharacteristic of the species. With eyes bulging and spewing thick blood, the writhing fish, covered with boils, gnashed the air. The snapping of their toothed jaws was audible and unnerving.

Horrified at their ghastly appearance and sound, the four men gradually lowered their fatigued arms, stepped back and solemnly observed. Yogman and Davenport joined them and were equally stunned.

Davenport broke out of his torpor. “Kick 'em off the side! Get 'em off the damn boat!” He grabbed a nearby broom and swept the bloody fish off the deck, their fins vainly flapping.

Max and Tom chipped in and kicked most of the rest overboard. Nearly done, they and the others abruptly looked out to sea. The previously turbulent ocean had suddenly gone flat as glass and tomb silent. The sky, now an even dull gray from horizon to horizon, added to the eerie stillness.

Hands on hips, looking about, everyone was baffled by the suddenness of the change.

Davenport stowed his broom. “I'll go and, uh... cut the engine. Yeah, cut the engine...”

Paul grabbed Davenport's sleeve. “Did this happen last week, too?”

Davenport brushed off Yogman's hand. “Yeah, just like last week.” About to say more, he hesitated before headed back to the cabin.

Yogman, an unofficial leader of the divers, addressed the others: “All right, show's over. Everyone suit up.”

At the ship's bow, Davenport had a quick drink of rum, then began gathering the anchor line's rope, before winding it into loose, wide circles on the deck, to prevent tangling. Sanchez and Yogman joined him.

Sanchez tapped Yogman's shoulder. “I'll go down first and secure the anchor line after Charlie latches on. Once it's set I'll send up a styro cup to signal the dive's a go.”

Davenport waved off help, picked up the rusted steel anchor and groaned. “As I said when I called yous two, it's at about two hundred-ten feet. Depending on how the wreck—”

“If it's a wreck,” interrupted Yogman.

Davenport scowled, spit over the side, continued. “Depending on how it's situated, part of it could be a lot deeper.”

Charlie heaved the anchor over the side and rubbed the small of his back.

Sanchez scratched his head. “I'm surprised Eric and Urabelle didn't come along. Dives like this are what those two live for.”

Davenport and Yogman, incredulous, stared at him.

“Mike, it's the third anniversary,” said wide-eyed Yogman.

“Eric don't dive, won't do anything on this date,” added Davenport.

Sanchez drew a blank, shrugged—then recalled and lowered his head.

* * *

NEARLY SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH Sanchez's reaction, square-jawed Eric Cage quietly sat at his kitchen table, sulking. He picked up the coffee cup before him, decorated with the US Navy logo, started to take a sip, then set it back down with force.

He ran his hand through his straight, light brown hair, shook his head, breathed heavily.

In his mind, he re-ran the series of events from three years prior, for the fiftieth time since awakening from a near-sleepless night. Each time was torture, an exercise in self-inflicted pain.

His source of anguish occurred in the same house, in the backyard, at 2:15 in the afternoon. He was driving home from the supermarket, made the usual turns, waved to a neighbor and drove on.

Well before he reached his house, he saw the lights flashing on the police cars and emergency vehicles. Eric gunned the engine of his pick-up truck, got within two houses, pulled off the road, crossed two neighbors' front lawns, then hit the brakes hard in front of his own property.

The bags of groceries on the rear seats flew off, banged against the backs of the front ones and spilled their contents onto the floor into a jumbled, broken mess. Eric never noticed.

He shot from the truck, passed through the open front doorway and sprinted to the rear screen door, a short distance away.

In the modest backyard chaos reigned—cops, EMTs and firefighters raced about, shouting. Eric froze, didn't know where to look first, and nearly passed out when he finally focused on the first responders working at the side of the built-in pool off to his right. They were pulling his father, Roger, from the water. Starkly white and motionless, even at a distance it was a foregone conclusion that he was dead.

Farther to the right, a second horror came into his view: EMTs were feverishly attempting to resuscitate his six-year-old son, Ethan.

A bald, middle-aged cop rushed to Eric, who was physically and emotionally paralyzed.




Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers’ Favorite

It's been three years, but the memories of failing his son in his hour of need still haunt Eric like it happened yesterday. He has stayed out of the water more as a reminder to himself than any other thing, but when he receives an old friend's frantic plea to help recover a loved one's remains from a scuba diving site, Eric knows he cannot refuse them. However, he is completely unprepared for this dive as a series of unusual events surrounding the sunken vessel lead him to believe there is more to it than he believes. Malevolence and revenge have merged in one location as an entity seeks to finish what was started so long ago in The Terror Below by Douglas Pike.

The actions of the past return to haunt the present in this horror novel by Douglas Pike. The story jumps right into the meat of the matter from the start, which sets the tone for a properly spooky experience. Pike inserts subtle mysteries into the subplots to keep you on edge throughout the story. His cast of characters is interesting to follow as they are very well put together, and the use of flashbacks in recreating pivotal aspects of the story created a riveting atmosphere that successfully amped up the fear factor in the story. The best part of this novel for me has to be the loose ends Pike deliberately drops into strategic parts of the story that made me wonder if there is more to the overall storyline than meets the eye. The Terror Below is masterful storytelling at its very best.

Reviewed by:

Antoinette Wessels

Review Rating:

4 Stars

Reviewed by Antoinette Wessels for Readers’ Favorite

The Terror Below by Douglas E. Pike is a horror novel set in the captivating world of deep-sea diving. When the Lady Luck happens upon an unknown shipwreck, the captain, Charlie Davenport, could not have known what would go wrong the day he took four divers out to it. Weird things started happening; rough seas and peculiar fish were only the beginning. When two of the four divers do not survive the dive, Eric Cage is called in to retrieve Max, the son of Al’s widow. Being a trained navy diver, he is the only one qualified to make the dive, and upon a special request from Al’s widow, he agrees. With a few divers, they set out to retrieve Max's body, but the occurrences beforehand should have been a warning.

The Terror Below by Douglas E. Pike lives up to its name of being terrifying. If the fact that the story mostly takes place deep under the sea in murky water isn’t enough, the ghostly experiences from the different parties definitely will be. What I enjoyed about the writing in this novel is that it not only focuses on the main character, Eric, but also refers to the accounts of the other characters. Background stories are also a big part of The Terror Below, and I enjoyed the bit of history, which was also part of the novel. The author gave enough detail in his storytelling for you to picture the events unfolding, and there were a few times I felt the shiver of goosebumps. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good scare.

Reviewed by:

Pikasho Deka

Review Rating:

5 Stars - Congratulations on your 5-star review!

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers’ Favorite

The Terror Below is a supernatural horror and thriller novel by Douglas Pike. When the wreck of a World War II-era German U-boat is found off the coast of Boston, a group of divers ventures into the Atlantic to investigate, leading to the deaths of a father-son duo, Al and Max Weber. The divers must retrieve Max's body, but the task is dangerous due to the supernatural elements surrounding the wreck. Eric Cage is a former US Navy diver still grieving over the loss of his young son. He is called upon to help with the mission, to which he reluctantly agrees. Tagging alongside him is his girlfriend, Urabelle Jones. But apart from the threat of a nefarious raider crew, an ancient curse follows the German U-boat. Will Eric share the same fate as that of his friend?

A captivating combination of suspense and horror makes The Terror Below a must-read for anyone who loves supernatural thrillers. With a crisp and concise plot, Douglas Pike tells a gripping tale filled with action, mystery, and lore. Pike wastes no time in putting the reader right into the midst of the action, and it's a non-stop thrill ride from start to finish. A potent mix of terror and dread is woven seamlessly into the narrative. It makes for a riveting reading experience as you find yourself on the edge of your seat for the story's duration. Pike gives distinct traits to all the characters to make an impression on the reader. Overall, a thoroughly entertaining supernatural thriller novel.

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 Horror, shipwreck, divers, spirits, ghosts, World WarII German-U-Boat, artifact,

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