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New Hope for the Dead

(Hoke Moseley #2)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,295 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Miami homicide detective Hoke Moseley is called to a posh Miami neighborhood to investigate a lethal overdose. There he meets the alluring stepmother of the decedant, and begins to wonder about dating a witness. Meanwile, he has been threatened with suspension by his ambitious new chief unless he leaves his beloved, if squalid, suite at the El Dorado Hotel, and moves downt ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published August 10th 2004 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1985)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  1,295 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In “New Hope for the Dead” by Charles Willeford, Miami homicide detective Hoke Moseley is called to a posh Miami neighborhood to investigate a lethal overdose. There he meets the alluring stepmother of the decedent, and begins to wonder about dating a witness. Meanwhile, he has been threatened with suspension by his ambitious new chief unless he leaves his beloved, if squalid, suite at the El Dorado Hotel, and moves downtown. With free housing hard to come by, Hoke is desperate to find a new pla ...more
James Thane
New Hope for the Dead is the second novel in Charles Willeford’s Hoke Moseley series, following Miami Blues. Hoke is a middle-aged Miami P.D. homicide detective who’s been gutted financially by a divorce and has been reduced to living in a tiny room in a run-down residential hotel that is inconveniently located just outside the Miami city limits. Inconveniently, because Hoke’s boss has just laid down the law and announced that the department will begin rigorously enforcing the requirement that a ...more
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, fiction, crime
The second book in the Hoke Moseley series has a very different feel from “Miami Blues”. There’s no equivalent of the malevolent character of Freddy Frenger, who drove much of the plot in the first novel. In this one, Hoke investigates the death of a junkie, and a promotion-hungry senior officer also tasks him with investigating some cold cases. The story actually has more about Hoke’s personal life than any police procedural work. He gets dragged into some personal issues affecting his new part ...more
What a weird novel. Willeford was to crime fiction what Philip.K.Dick was to sci-fi. Hoke Moseley is unlike any other police detective in the crime fiction genre. He is almost like an average middle class guy in some ways - he has to deal with rent and alimony, he has not had sex in a long time and in this book, he has to take care of his teenage daughters while he deals with gluttonous cravings and obesity. Despite being a policeman, he faces housing problems caused by mass immigration and whit ...more
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
New Hope for the Dead is Charles Willeford's follow up to Miami Blues, the debut appearance of series detective Moseley. Except it's an entirely different beast of a novel. Willeford clearly didn't anticipate Moseley becoming a repeat performer in that first outing, making him secondary to the crazy Freddie Frenger Jr. and so this second novel gave him an opportunity to really flesh out the character, establish his world and really outline where this series of books is headed.

This time out Mosel
Carla Remy
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
After Miami Blues, which was about the bad guy as much as Hoke Mosely, the good guy, comes a meandering tale of Hoke's life. Dark and gritty in spots, gentle and likable overall. ...more
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 da
Printable Tire
There's an OD that might be a homicide, but the real question is, will Mosely take the house sitting job where he has to jerk off a dog? I loved the psychopath narrative in Miami Blues so much that whenever Mosely showed up I got a little impatient. But here he's a great character, and this thing reads like a tightly plotted Bukowski novel. Hard for me not to picture Richard Jenkins or Ben Gazzara as Mosely. ...more
Aug 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Almost nothing happens in this book but I'd rather hang out with Hoke Mosley than almost anyone on Earth ...more
Dave Schaafsma
"The world would look better if everybody drank a glassful of Wild Turkey in the morning."

I didn't like this book quite as much as the first (of four) in the Hoke Mosely series, as the central crime is less a mystery and mostly Hoke, though the book has its comic moments. My favorite characters in the first one were the two "villains" with Hoke kind of taking a back seat to them, coming in later. And the Hoke in this second book seems a little different than in the first book, as if Willeford w
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Lacking the great antagonist of Willeford's first novel, Miami Blues (played in the film of the same name by a young Alec Baldwin in full anarchic, scene-chewing glee), New Hope for the Dead seems to suffer from a sense of direction and purpose as the first novel in the series. Indeed, it was bit of a plod until Hoke Moseley and crew undertook the burden of 50 cold case files thrown at them by their ambitious boss while his two teenage daughters show up unannounced on his doorstep. The novel gat ...more
Jun 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american, crime, 2021, fiction
"Hoke didn't like himself very much. He never had, now that he thought about it. Still, a man had to take care of his family."
- Charles Willeford, New Hope for the Dead


Hoke Mosely is rational self-interest with a bit of morality thrown in. Hoke is not a perfect hero, and certainly not an anti-hero, but he does seem to exist on a plane we all can relate to a bit. He cuts corners, lies to his boss, has a poor relationship with his ex-wife and not a much better relationship with his daughters (one
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
I like Hoke Moseley and all ... but this follow up to Miami Blues was dull. It was a like a very odd episode of Father Knows Best. Hardly anything happens except for conversations with Hoke's coworkers, Hoke searching for a place to live, and a weak-ass mystery.

There were some funny quotes and conversations that saved this from a one star review. The biggest difference between this installment and Miami Blues was the back and forth plots of Hoke and the main criminal character. I must say I pref
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One way to understand the history of detective fiction is to weigh out the changing balance between character-building and the central plot.

The Victorian ancestors of "detective fiction" proper were much richer in character than in plot. Consider The Moonstone, whose pleasure derives not so much from a stolen diamond as the round robin narrative eccentricity. The novel shows us not crime in a bare form, as golden age crime novels do (though always dressed with an inconsequential motive as thoug
Tyler McGaughey
Hoke Moseley is the kind of police detective who - when he sits the prime suspect down at the end of the book for the big "hey I know you murdered this dude and here's how you did it" speech - also orders himself a dozen raw oysters and TWO pitchers of Michelob. Absolute hero, slay king, we stan a legend, etc.

It drives me up the wall when people talk about how they "love" such-and-such fictional character, but I have to say: Hoke Moseley rules and I really like him a lot and I almost kind of fe
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. ...more
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Hoke Moseley novel is to literature as comfort food is to cuisine. You have to like the guy because he's just like you or at least some of your friends. He struggles with his finances, his relationships, his job, just like a real person. He's not above taking advantage of a situation for his own benefit but he's nowhere near a bad person, just an average joe and that is what makes him so appealing. ...more
🐴 🍖
lacks the "what'll happen next?" quality of the previous installment, perhaps inevitably, since here the focus is cold cases rather than a sociopath on the loose doin' sociopath things. i will say that the way hoke resolves his daughter aileen's orthodontic issues (and the way in which everybody treats it as extremely normal) is one of the most bizarre reading experiences i've ever had, if you're into that kind of thing ...more
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, calibre
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.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it
This second installment in the Hoke Moseley series is an improvement over the first "Miami Blues."

Hoke Moseley has a heap of problems, but maintains a sense of humor and street smarts. The scene in which he figures out how a young addict was killed is wonderful. The other characters in the book, including his new partner and his daughters, are well written.

Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I discovered Charles Willeford’s work last year and he’s become one of my favorite crime writers. Cockfighter was the best crime book I read in 2017 and his first Hank Moseley story Miami Blues will be chalked up to one of the best I’ve read this year. A raucous tale of the worst cat-and-mouse game ever played between cop and criminal.

Willeford has a skill for three-dimensional characters, good-but-not-flashy dialogue, wry humor, and measured cynicism. All of those are on display for New Hope fo
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This would have been a five-star novel if there hadn't been so many serious flaws in the plot, such as drug dealers not be very angry about losing $25,000 in cash to a junkie bagman. It is, however, laugh-out-loud funny at least once a chapter. ...more
Daniel Polansky
A cop and his people in 80’s Miami. There was some good slice of life stuff here, and I didn’t find the narrative (such that it was) entirely unengaging, but two weeks after I read it I can’t remember anything that really happened, which usually isn’t a great sign.
Thomas Pluck
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No one writes like Willeford.
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it
Florida sounds awful.

The crime in this crime story takes a back seat and instead the focus is shifted to homicide detective Hoke Moseley, whom we were introduced to in Miami Blues, and his maneuverings. There’s no real antagonist here, so consequently this book lacks any of the danger or tension of the the first, but it makes up for it with more weirdness and dark humor.
Jane Routley
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lots of fun. Willeford has a wonderful prose style. Spare and humourous a joy to read. Home. Is a good hearted if slightly unprincipled sad sack a bit like Bill Murrays character in Ghostbusters. The lack of political correctness is a bit hard going for a modern reader especially as I couldn’t tell what was humour always. But it’s no worse than Sayers or Christie. I’d happily read more of these
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This is my kinda crime book. While I love various genre fiction, I don't read a lot of mysteries because, at this mnemonically-challenged point in my life, the puzzle aspect just doesn't appeal all that much. Who cares who killed Roger Ackroyd, indeed, but, more importantly, who can remember? So, New Hope for the Dead, full to bursting with the atmosphere (the mini-malls and apartment blocks of fungible, lower-middle class Miami exurbs that perfectly embody the disappointment and alienation of a ...more
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Has Hoke changed? It's been many months since I finished reading the first novel but he seems to be quite different. I remember him as a little bit awkward, neurotic and insecure. Obviously he was not full on Aspergers but I remember him as a little bit of a weird guy. In this book he is confident, ruthless and even bossy. He threatens his superiors, seduces a woman and bends the rules. That was all new.

Despite these changes the book was still a good read. The characters are super clear and the
Ken Oder
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book 2 of the Hoke Mosely series. It grows on you. The structure of the plot is interesting. The murder mystery is more of an undercurrent than the main theme. The majority of the story centers around Hoke's personal life, his two daughters from a broken marriage, and his partner, Ellita, who is pregnant from a one-night stand. I got hooked on the personal stories. Less so on the murder mystery. Willeford's stories are unique. Hoke is a semi-dirty, but competent cop, sometimes likeable, ...more
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.

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Charles Willeford was a remarkably fine, talented and prolific writer who wrote everything from poetry to crime fiction to literary criticism throughout the course of his impressively long and diverse career. His crime novels are distinguished by a mean'n'lean sense of narrative economy and an admirable dearth of sentimentality. He was born as Charles Ray Willeford III on January 2, 1919 in Little ...more

Other books in the series

Hoke Moseley (5 books)
  • Miami Blues (Hoke Moseley #1)
  • Sideswipe (Hoke Moseley #3)
  • The Way We Die Now (Hoke Moseley #4)
  • Grimhaven

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