Sideswipe: A Hoke Moseley Novel

ISBN: 1400032482
ISBN 13: 9781400032488
By: Charles Willeford Lawrence Block

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Adult Crime Crime Fiction Crime Noir Favorites Fiction Hard Boiled Noir Thriller To Read

About this book

Hoke Moseley has had enough. Tired of struggling against alimony payments, two teenage daughters, a very pregnant, very single partner, and a low paying job as a Miami homicide detective, Hoke moves to Singer Island and vows never step foot on the mainland again. But on the street, career criminal Troy Louden is hatching plans of his own with a gang including a disfigured hooker, a talentless artist, and a clueless retiree. But when his simple robbery results in ruthless and indiscriminate bloodshed, Hoke quickly remembers why he is a cop and hurls himself back into the world he meant to leave behind forever.A masterly tale of both mid-life crisis and murder, Sideswipe is a page-turning thriller packed with laughs, loaded with suspense, and featuring one of the truly original detectives of all time.

Reader's Thoughts


Of the three Hoke Moseley books so far, this was the weakest; only because the other two books had much more going on. That noted, it was nothing but pleasure to breeze through; it went so fast and easy it was as though I was not reading at all and sometimes, sometimes, I like to work for my brain food. I enjoy Willeford's easy style and bright imagination so much that I'm tempted to start the 4th and final Hoke Moseley book, The Way We Die Now; but I will save that for my trip to Florida next month.

Suzanne Eisenhauer

I cannot possibly read any more of this book, it's simply too terrible to continue. I'm trying to figure out where this illusive 4 star rating came from. This book is like having a conversation with my Mother -- The Queen of Minutiae. Everyone talks and talks and talks, but doesn't say anything. 1/5 of the way through this and there still doesn't seem to be a plot of any kind. Ughhhh:(


Overwhelmed by an abundance of cold cases Miami homicide detective Hoke Moseley retreats into a fugue state, abandons his pregnant partner/housemate Ellita Sanchez and his two daughters to seek a simpler life managing his father’s apartment complex in Riviera Beach.Hoke soon finds the simple life is easier to envision than to envelop.Like others in the series, "Sideswipe" is packed with action and wry, off-beat humor. Elmore Leonard says no one writes a better crime novel. Who am I to argue with that?


Willeford continues to demonstrate a real talent for characterization and ability to establish a sense of place. He paints a vivid picture of late 80s Miami and the unique collection of personalities that inhabit it. Willeford also possesses the ability to write with effective brevity; addressing issues like life and career burnout, family dynamics, and post-employment ennui within a tight page-count. A brisk, fun summer read.


Haha! This guy cracks me up! Another hit in the Hoke Moseley series, a humane story sliding along with charcteristic sudden kinks in it. All of a sudden things are not the same anymore, not turning back. Marvellous.

Karin Montin

I’d read this before, but wasn’t positive until I got to the part where Hoke Mosely orders up two identical jumpsuits. That's really unforgettable. Some memorable characters (if my memory were better) and a pretty good plot. The usual Willeford psycho, totally reasonable within his own frame of reference, leads a bunch of hapless cohorts deeper and deeper into trouble. Justice doesn’t prevail, but Hoke recovers from his burnout.

Scott Phillips

Quite possibly my favorite crime novel. Willeford was a master of throwing his characters into a situation and then letting it unfold, and Sideswipe is incredibly entertaining to ride along with.


Read first half over a few days, put it down for a week, and devoured the rest today. The secondary plot is a bit depressing (one reason why I put it down), but improves with the introduction of secondary characters and the climax. Hoke Moseley is still Hoke, even with a change of scenery and (literally) little to do. A good, solid crime novel, but like anything of Willeford's, not for the faint of heart, even moreso.


I have the Book Club Edition of this book published by St. Martin's Press in 1987. This is my first Hoke Moseley novel. The story started slowly for me, but the author writes with such rich detail and the characters are so quirky that I got hooked. Towards the end I couldn't put the book down for long. Using the contrast between the voices and actions of Troy Louden (a bad guy) and Stanley Sinkiewicz (a not-so-bad guy), the author takes jabs at parts of society. I think the author is a bit of a fatalist. I enjoyed the book and plan on readig anothr Hoke Moseley novel. I didn't enjoy Hoke as much as the other colorful characters; he was more interesting at the beginning of the book when he had all his problems than at the end when he had healed and rested up.


I'm not sure what's going on, but I think I've started to develop a little crush on Hoke Moseley. I know, right? I mean, he pees his pants within the first ten pages of this book. But I feel such a strong affection toward him for some reason.The structure of this book is more similar to Miami Blues in that every other chapter is about Hoke, and the odd ones deal with another storyline about a criminal sociopath (Troy) who isn't Junior, but might as well be. I completely loved the way it all came together at the end. It's shitballs crazy awesome. And I love how even though throughout the plots of these books Hoke's life is fairly shitty, at the end he gets a nice little pick me up and you're ready to move on thinking the old guy is going to be okay.My favorite thing about Willeford is the little details. The fact that Hoke tries to cheat at Monopoly. His recipe for beef stew. I love it all.


Hoke Moseley is possibly the best detective in literary history to never do any work and always seem to end up solving the crime


Such sadness. I have only one more Hoke Moseley book to go. The late and great Charles Willeford passed away after 4 of this series, leaving behind a magnificent legacy. His genius lies in the minutiae of his character's development. In the Hoke Moseley series, he employs the brilliant technique of alternating each chapter between the daily lives of Hoke and his immediate family and colleagues and the villains as they plan their crime. As such, the crimes don't actually occur until late in each novel finishing with explosive endings.So far, this is the best of the series, even better than the first, Miami Blues. It is so great to read of Miami in the 1980s without the pastel-cladded shallowness depicted in Miami Vice :)His characters are the down outs, the losers, the never weres and are written is such a beautiful matter of fact way, I can see why guys like Elmore Leonard and James Lee Burke cited him as such a major influence. His work spanned 40+ plus years and, for mine, his novel Pick-Up is the ultimate masterpiece of "nihilist-noir".


Really fucking awesome. This writer just became my favorite crime writer by far, and I've only read three of his books. Really detached but accurate psychological portraits within surreal, comical plot-lines. Never feels mean, but often feels dark and strange. Always feels human, though never emotional. I love it.

Joe Moffa

Oldie but real goody. Boy, do I miss Charles Willeford!


Awesome! One more to go!

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