Found this little beauty at a local antique store, just sitting on the shelf looking pretty-as-you-please.
It’s from Whitman Publishing, based on the popular television series that ran from 1968-1970. According to this site, Top Secret was one of two Hawaii Five-O novels released by Whitman. According to that page (which is a pretty interesting read if you want to check it out):
Whitman Publishing Co. has long been noted as a publisher of books for children. They offered at least two books based on Hawaii Five-O. The first, Top Secret (1969) by Robert Sidney Bowen, emulates the two paperback novels in that it is a tale of espionage and international intrigue. The popularity of the “James Bond” movies at the time influenced the novels even more heavily than it did the television series itself.
In this story, a body found in the trunk of a car at the bottom of a cliff is identified as an eminent scientist involved in some top-secret weapons testing. That the scientist was tortured before being killed leads McGarrett and the Air Force to believe vital information may now be in communist hands. The trail leads through a hard-luck ex-con whose house is firebombed with him and the Five-O team in it, through an entrepreneur and underworld kingpin, to a respected businessman who is a Red Chinese agent.
Sounds good enough to actually read, doesn’t it?
But whether I do or not, Hawaii Five-O will always live in television history as having one of the most recognizable theme songs. I remember turning over plastic trash cans from around the house, using them as drums to try and recreate the mesmerizing beat. And though I was a bit too young, I had a sneaking suspicion that those shaking hips really meant something. Take a look for yourself:
Of course, seeing it again, I’m still trying to figure it out …
But that’s a post for another time.