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Operation Hang Ten


Surf-themed pulp fiction series written in the late 1960s and early 1970s by Patrick Morgan, featuring the adventures of Bill Cartwright—a bourbon-drinking, skirt-chasing, tough-talking, ex-champion millionaire surfer turned CIA operative. Morgan (one of several pen names used by California author George Snyder) wrote Hang Dead Hawaiian Style, the first of his 10 Operation Hang Ten books, in 1969. Other titles included Cute and Deadly Surf Twins (1970), Scarlet Surf at Makaha (1970), and The Girl in the Telltale Bikini (1971).

Operation Hang Ten referred to the CIA section devoted to fighting teenage beach crime, and Hang Ten operatives consisted of "mini-skirted girls, surfers, and beach bums." Agent Cartwright always gets his man, but along the way there's plenty of time for swingin' and surfin', and in Hang Dead Hawaiian Style, when Cartwright goes on assignment to Hawaii, he sets his chiseled jaw before paddling out to ride the "man-killing waves" at Waimea Bay.

To wipeout here meant millions of tons of water grinding your flesh into coral rock and lava. And if you recovered, it meant being sucked far out to sea as the next gigantic wave built itself up. Loose boards were like floating knifes, the fins could gut a man like a fresh-caught fish being cleaned. But Bill knew that once you were up there, once you had the wave judged just right, the ride in was the sweetest, most powerful feeling there was.

The Operation Hang Ten books were published in paperback original by MacFadden-Bartell in New York. As of 2013, Synder, a longtime sailor and scuba diver, was still writing hardboiled crime fiction.