cover image The Mighty Six-Ninety (690)

The Mighty Six-Ninety (690)

Alexander Hamilton Cherin. Alexander Hamilton Cherin, $19.99 trade paper (168p) ISBN 979-8-9894672-0-4

Journalist Cherin debuts with the tender story of a radio-sponsored treasure hunt in Southern California. In 1981, a floundering pop radio station hatches a weeklong campaign to drum up ratings by burying $50,000 and offering one clue per day about the treasure’s whereabouts. Among the competitors are Sally Lang, a single mother and bank teller, who hopes to replace the money she’s been stealing at work to make ends meet; aging motorcycle racer Danny Baker, who eyes the cash as his path toward retirement; and Holocaust survivor and synagogue janitor Augie Kloptman, who faces unemployment and eviction when his temple announces plans to move. Augie later teams up with Jason Schneidman, a 13-year-old congregant adrift in the wake of his parents’ divorce, who plans to use his share of the money to impress girls. As Sally worries her theft will be discovered in an upcoming audit, Danny dreams of opening a motorcycle shop, and Jason warms to the lonely Augie, Cherin strikes a balance between frothy entertainment and thoughtful examination of his character’s fears, desires, and need for connection. Readers will be rooting for everyone to win in this impressive tale. (Self-published)