cover image The Rockford Files: The Green Bottle

The Rockford Files: The Green Bottle

Stuart M. Kaminsky. Forge, $22.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86229-9

The tremendous appeal of James Garner as low-rent California PI Jim Rockford translates quite nicely from the 1970s TV series and later TV movies into this briskly paced novel. Rockford's old dad, Rocky, has passed on, even if his pickup truck is still around, and Rockford is still cursed with the presence of his ever-scheming ex-con buddy, Angel. In this instance, Rockford is tracking down a rare missing cat when Angel spots the chance to turn a dishonest buck with a feline-grooming scam. Naturally enough, the caper comes a cropper, with Rockford bearing the brunt of the fallout. The main action has Rockford recovering an antique bottle for a grateful client and then, after a referral, tracking down a missing girl. Rockford keeps all the characters and actions straight in post-O.J. California while he works through a few health-related wrinkles. The transition to the present is a gentle one. Rockford was an anachronism in the hippiefied '70s, and he remains just as stubbornly--and amusingly--out of time in the shapeless '90s. (Oct.)