New Hope for the Dead

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

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Reader's Thoughts

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."


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.


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.


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

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.

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.




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..


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.


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.


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):


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.


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.

Justin Howe

Hoke Moseley fits the archetype of the slob with a heart of gold.


"New Hope for the Dead" is the second Hoke Moseley story by Charles Willeford. Moseley is a middle-aged cop in early 1980's Miami, but Willeford passes over the "Miami Vice" coke don gloss usually associated with that area in that era, and tells stories of humid day-to-day life. Hard boiled with a heart.In this story, Moseley has a new partner, who is pregnant, and he needs to find a home for himself and the two daughters that his ex wife just dumped on him. These problems slowly but surely intertwine with a dead junkie, a sexy stepmother and a heap of cold cases.Slowly but surely is the right expression. Most of the book reads like the funny, gritty story of a blue collar single father, so it's incredible when it all ties together with a crime. You might feel like the story is meandering, but enjoy the ride, because it takes you somewhere great.

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