Easter Sunday, 23 April 2000. Time: 19.50.A diver’s paradise in Malaysia turns in seconds into a tropical hell for the Wallert family. An extremist Islamic rebel group takes them hostage and they are transferred to the Philippine island of Jolo. The days, and then months, become a torture for the hostages as the carefully planned commando operation tries to extort political concessions and money from the Philippine government. Ten divers from Germany, France, South Africa, Lebanon and Finland, and eleven hotel employees and WWF rangers find themselves political chips of Philippine and international politics — and of the media —as the fate of the author, his wife Renate, his son Marc, their fellow captives and the heavily armed hostage-takers is followed day by day for weeks by journalists and the media. This true story tells the experiences of the hostages—what they lived through and suffered, and their hopes, anxieties and disappointments. Marc Wallert was the last member of the author’s family to be freed. The last chapters capture what life is like as a short-term-celebrity after the release.