New Hope for the Dead

ISBN: 1400032490
ISBN 13: 9781400032495
By: Charles Willeford James Lee Burke

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Reader's Thoughts


Willeford was a master, and if you need proof, enter the world of Hoke Moseley, down-on-his-luck Miami police detective. The book is third person, but reflects Hoke's weary perspective on life. He's been assigned to cold case murders while others are promoted around him. He also has to cope with multiple personal crises. Through it all, he keeps dogging along. Read this book.


Almost nothing happens in this book but I'd rather hang out with Hoke Mosley than almost anyone on Earth

Michael Katz

"New Hope For The Dead" by Charles Willeford is a quirky crime novel with an interesting hero, Hoke Moseley, sergeant in the Miami Police. He certainly cuts corners with the law, but has a strong ethical centre. I like the last few lines (not a spoiler): "Bill Henderson got promoted. How come he got it instead you you, Hoke?" "Dumb luck. That's why we're celebrating. It could have been me."


Well well well. Hoke is full of surprises, although I think it is only a surprise to me. This book kept me on my toes, and I am no ballerina. Fun fast read. This is a new author for me. I really enjoyed this book. I floated in a ring in the pool and read. Great summer read. Thank-you MR. Willeford.

John Treanor



Simply brilliant stuff, so refreshing and so unique - in style and as well as in the content. Cannot wait till my nephew is old enough to read it and looking forward to discuss this masterpiece with him.More here (warning, it includes spoilers):


Wilefords Hope Mosley novels are an acquired taste.Slow, unfussy and barely happening at all - compared to modern thrillers.Mosley is struggling, at being a father, a good (!) cop, at managing his teeth..Sometimes grim but I could mention an unexpected moment in each that was unforcedly touching.An author I go back to often..


good, softer than the earlier works I've read but seems to be the continuation of "Miami Blues".


Hoke Moseley works to solve 50 cold cases and one apparent OD while desperately searching for a Miami based apartment. His teenage daughters arrive to live with Hoke while he tries to make sense of his current situation. Things were a little different in 1978 but Hoke manages to bridge the gap with today's world of crime fiction.


The book is all atmosphere (1980s Miami) and character (curmudgeonly cop Hoke Moseley). Moseley doesn't doesn't care much about solving his case and neither does the reader. So the book's wrap up may be necessary, but it's not as interesting as everything the came before.

Larry Webber

Hoke Moseley. Essential.

Patrick McCoy

The second book in Charles Willeford's series featuring divorced, middle aged Detective Hoke Moseley is the entertaining New Hope For The Dead. The new hope is born from a special assignment designed to solve cold cases to make the homicide department look better on percentages of solved murders that would lead to a number of promotions. Willeford writes very well when showing the mind numbing detail checking that leads to the solving of crimes. But what I love about his writing is what the reader learns about the Miami area, the intricacies of a police department-politics (it reminds me of David Simon's Homicide with Baltimore and homicide department inside scoop) , as well as the hum drum details of the everyday lives of his characters. This novel is as much about the sudden arrival of two daughters he barely knows, his housing and money problems. We also get to know his Cuban partner who is knocked up and kicked out of her house by over domineering father. He peppers his very readable prose with some interesting worlds-I fond my self looking up words on a half dozen occasions, which isn't usual when reading crime/mystery novels. I'm looking forward to the next installment in the life of the down to earth Hoke Moseley.


Hoke shows his artistic sensibilities, moves around the city, gets a female partner, raises his kids wrong.


I like Willeford. I like his characters, especially Hoke's sardonic and realistic view of the world, but there was something about this book that kept nagging at me. Scenes appeared familiar ,and I kept wondering if I had read the book before. Possible, I suppose, although I couldn't find any notes or other indications of that likilihood. It's the grind of normal life that makes this book interesting as the investigation plot lines are rather thin. Hoke's ex-wife has dumped the two daughters on him so she can run off with a baseball player; he can't find a place to live within the newly-required city limits; his new partner is pregnant, and to top things off, he has to give his girls "the" sex lecture (which, surprisingly, probably ought to be copied and handed out to most teenagers.) One other reviewer noted that when reading Willeford's novels you don't have to suspend disbelief. Exactly right.

Jim Jawitz

Savor this truncated series. From this temporal distance enjoy the time warp back to mid-1980s Miami: Lum’s, Jordan Marsh, Omni, the pervasive crime.

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