New Hope for the Dead

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

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Reader's Thoughts


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.


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

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."


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..


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):


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.

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

Very snappily written, with sharp, sardonic descriptions, realistic dialogue and a story that's less about the mysteries that are solved along the way as they are about Hoke Moseley's quotidian dilemmas - finding housing,looking after two teenage daughters and generally making ends meet. The way he solves his housing problem is startlingly amoral by my standards. My first Willeford novel and it seems like I'd enjoy more.


Much as I loved Miami Blues, I hadn't gotten around to reading the other Hoke Moseley books until this summer. Nobody does deadpan better than Willeford! The scene where Hoke leaves his daughters with a colleague and then returns to find them looking at pictures of murder scenes is a classic--you'd expect any other character to be concerned at what the girls are seeing, but Hoke starts reminiscing about the old cases instead. Great stuff.


I loved the other two Charles Willeford books I've read, but I could not finish this one. I gave up with less than 80 pages to go.There simply isn't a plot. That might be ok for a Murakami novel, but for the follow-up to Miami Blues? It's Hoke trying to find an apartment; Hoke thinking about minorities; Hoke awkwardly hanging out with his daughters; Hoke helping his partner move.


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.

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.

Larry Webber

Hoke Moseley. Essential.


I didn't finish.

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.


I might not read any other authors apart from Charles Willeford for awhile. This guy. Man.I enjoyed this just as much as Miami Blues even though I only gave it 4 stars versus the 5 I gave to MB. The crime-solvey bit that frames the middle parts is a little meh compared to that of MB, but man oh man the middle parts of this book. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I burst out laughing at least three times, and if Hoke Moseley's sex talk with his daughters could be turned into a 2 minute play, I would see the damn thing every single night. There are only 2 more Hoke Moseley books remaining, so I'm going to read a stand alone Willeford next so I can make Hoke last just a little longer.

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