cover image The Chee-Chalker

The Chee-Chalker

L. Ron Hubbard, . . Galaxy, $9.95 (121pp) ISBN 978-1-59212-354-4

The murder of James England, the owner of the radio station in Ketchikan, Alaska, presents a challenge for FBI agent Bill Norton, who's been assigned to break up a heroin ring in that small town in this Hubbard novella from the golden age of pulp fiction. Norton and his green partner, Chick Starr, who arrived in the area after the disappearance of Norton's former boss, must struggle to achieve a measure of justice without the cooperation of the locals. A stock figure—the attractive woman whose loyalties and intentions are ambiguous—lends a dash of romance, but contemporary readers are less likely to be swept up by this ordinary action yarn than the original 1930s audience. (Jan.)