The Hoover Files

William Harrington, Author Forge $21.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-86027-1
It surely seems easy, but Harrington's seamless re-creation and updating of the canny, idiosyncratic mindset and verbal tics of actor Peter Falk's famous rumpled TV detective is doubtless a much tougher trick than it appears. The major plot here offers little suspense: retired FBI agent Fritz Kloss is shocked to find that hack journalist Betsy Clendenin is poised to publish an expose on his beloved and allegedly crossdressing former boss, J. Edgar Hoover. Fritz elects to blow the poor woman into tiny pieces. The minor plot involves one of Betsy's previous ""victims,"" an albino rock star named Jonathan who has a penchant for young girls. Fortunately for Jonathan, his business partners are mainly sinister sharks with the power to make Jonathan's teenage concubines and their amoral parents vanish. Fritz is clever, but he unwisely lies to Columbo. Later, Columbo has to deal with damaged computer hard drives, a gunshot wound and the determined efforts of Mrs. C and a pretty shop saleswoman to spruce up his shabby wardrobe. Columbo goes along until the stained and beloved raincoat is threatened with an early retirement. Some things remain sacred. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
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