A true friend will never steal your girl, your wave, or your corpse.Rick Justin, a burned-out, Vietnam-era ex-corpsman, gets an education on friendship from his first day in a California medical school, when he meets the three anatomy partners who will shape the rest of his life.Majoring in wave-riding, he and his trio of friends, Aaron, Jody, and Natalie, learn about the human body--and the mind--the hard way. More than once, Justin becomes a patient himself. From the psych ward at UCSD to the trauma service at San Francisco General, from an OB-GYN delivery room to the Naval Hospital pediatric ward, one calamity after another crashes down upon him. Years after the war, trouble, disease, and death still surround him.Only through surfing does Justin find release. With his buddy Aaron, he graduates from small waves in Del Mar to the mountainous peaks of Oahu’s North Shore. Structuring his senior rotations to maximize this newly-found oceanic addiction, he finds only the pristine violence of the sea can wash clean his work-related troubles. Far from shore his conscience begins to heal, a conscience troubled by the accidental killing of a pal during the war.After his medical training, Rick stays in Southern California, working as an ER doc before migrating to Oahu, where he runs the emergency ward of a hospital located minutes from Sunset Beach. Meanwhile, life unravels for his trio of friends, the brilliant Natalie and the newly-married Aaron and Jody, all residents at UC San Francisco.Aaron has made a fortune pilfering body parts and fluids from fresh cadavers and selling them topharmaceutical companies, but he can’t get away with it forever.Jody and Natalie get drawn into the ensuing mess--with dire results. As the incestuous relationship between the four doctors heats up, Rick finds he must not only face his own demons--he must battle those of his friends.