New Hope for the Dead

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

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Reader's Thoughts


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..


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.


I didn't finish.


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.

John Treanor



The sequel to his late-career surprise hit MIAMI BLUES, this is a typically colorful Willeford tale, but lacks his typical taut sense of story construction. Its somewhat meandering and unfocused plot tracks Miami PD Homicide Det. Hoke Moseley as he simultaneously copes with his assignment to a new cold case division and the unexpected arrival of his teenage daughters after his ex-wife dumps them on his doorstep before splitting for California. The main narrative drive is a fairly weak storyline about the apparent overdose of a youthful junkie from an upscale family and the disappearance of $24,000 belonging to a drug cartel. It's well worth reading for Willeford's colorful insights into Miami's seedy side, and to watch the peculiar evolution of his sad-sack detective who seems to be given new purpose by a flood of estrogen into his life. (Circumstances also redefine and draw him closer to his Cuban female partner, Ellita.) However, the book has a long seventh inning stretch where the story seems to wander a bit aimlessly before getting back on track. The lack of focus isn't that surprising, given that this was Willeford's second attempt at a sequel to MIAMI BLUES -- the first pass was the notorious, unpublished GRIMHAVEN in which a desperate Hoke Moselely quits the force and kills his daughters. It's clear this ragtag novel repurposes at least some of the ideas and materials with much more optimistic results -- I'm curious how much overlap there ultimately is between GRIMHAVEN and NEW HOPE.


More like 3.5 stars and we must respect the mathematics of rounding up. Though I enjoyed it from start to end, it's not as refreshing as my first Hoke Moseley read. Still, it's a damn fine read, genre fiction at its best, and Hoke is a nicely conceived character. I'm nowhere near Miami as I type this, but I remember Coral Gables from years past and I'm in Florida for vacation now - Willeford's touch with Florida is incontestable. He is a master of this perverse peninsula. I look forward to finishing off the rest of the Hoke Moseley books.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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):

Pete West

Excellent read.

Tim Niland

Hoke Mosley in a police Sargent in Miami whose career and life are going through some trials and tribulations. Put in charge of a major cold-case sweep of unsolved homicides at the same time that his estranged wife decides to drop his two daughters on him and his partner suffers a breakdown, he has to use all of his skills just to stay afloat. One case keeps sticking with him though, the presumed overdose death of a young man just doesn't seem right even as he begins to surreptitiously court the dead man's stepmother. This book has a lot in common with the Joseph Wanbaugh police procedurals, mixing together the personal and professional lives of the protagonists. As much as I wanted to like this book (it came with raves from two of my favorite authors, Ray Banks and James Lee Burke) I really couldn't get into it. Willeford writes well and the story flowed smoothly, but everything started to seemed too dramatic or contrived, as if the book was conflicted as to whether it wanted to be a comic farce or a serious crime novel.

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