Death Car Surfside by Patrick Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When this series first published I was in Jr. high and Bill Cartwright the surfing spy was one of my favorites. I recently reread all ten books of this series and think this is the best of the bunch. It reads like Morgan (pseudo for George Snyder) thought it was going to be the last book but there's actually one more. Fascinating because this is not actually a Hang Ten case. Takes place all in one day and begins in the middle of the action as Cartwright is surfing before daylight and sees a Mustang drive off the end of the pier. He dives down to rescue the driver and bring her up to the beach. Another girl arrives and before too long Cartwright is bopped over the head with his flashlight. He comes to surrounded by police and the girl he rescued has been stabbed to death. Cartwright is taken to the police station and once he realizes they have him pegged for the murder he punches the detective and busts out of the police station. Cartwright is on the run and compounding his felonies. He tries calling his Hang Ten boss several times but the phone is never answered. On his own Cartwright tries to find out why the girl was murdered and he gets deeper and deeper into the manure. This storyline would have made a great end to the series, but it is also a great stand alone noir. Has the best lines of the whole ten book series: "Okay, brush your hair, put on some perfume, and get your purse. I'll show you a life of crime."
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