Saturday, February 19, 2005
11. Hang Dead Hawaiian Style by Patrick Morgan
This is the first in a series of surf spy pulp novels called Operation Hang Ten. They came out in the sixties and feature Bill Cartwright, surfing detective and ladies man. The first one I read had him hunting down a busload of hippies who were selling drugs to schoolkids (I kid you not). It got me hooked on the series. Hang Dead Hawaiian Style is a bit of a mess, but a fun read. He works for the man (he's hired by the CIA as a freelancer), but the whole time he's spouting anti-establishment rants like a watered down John D. McDonald. The rants are actually not badly written and the action is pretty aggressive, entertaining stuff, but the plot is terribly constructed. The second-to-main badguy is a doctor selling opium to the beach bums. He goes on and on about how removed he is from it because he's hired this dude to do all the transactions (a tough surfer with whom Cartwright has a surfing battle with) for him. But he also takes the girls home that he's got hooked and molests them for payment. And it took Cartwright chapters to figure out what was going on. I'm going to keep collecting the series, though.