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(Hoke Moseley #3)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,017 ratings  ·  109 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, First Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Edition, 215 pages
Published March 8th 2005 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1987)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  1,017 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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James Thane
This is the third book in Charles Willeford's excellent series featuring Miami homicide detective Hoke Moseley. As the book opens, Hoke, although still only in his forties, wakes up to a full-blown mid-life crisis. He's completely unable to function irrespective of his responsibilities to his two teenage daughters who live with him, to his department, and to his partner, Ellita Sanchez, who is eight months pregnant (not by Hoke) and who also lives in Hoke's home.

Unable to cope, Hoke takes a leav
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-as-night
Hoke Moseley truly is a one of a kind protagonist and Sideswipe is his most uniquely Willefordian case yet. A detective novel where the crime occurs in the last chapter, that alternates between the plotting of a heist and the workings of a policeman are not exactly rare you might say but in the hands of Charles Willeford this generic plot takes on a whole new life.

Instead of intricate details of who goes where and when, a recce of the bank in question and potential getaway routes led by a crimin
Dave Schaafsma
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
The third in Charles Willeford’s Hoke Mosely series, and by far the best of the three, the best written, where Hoke’s character is well-fleshed out (and he’s out of shape, too). I’m not saying that there aren’t pleasures to be had in the reading of the first two, Miami Blues and New Hope for the Dead, for sure. I much prefer my mysteries with angst and anguish and existential dread, but this one clearly highlights the funny stuff and I laughed quite a bit, actually. (Laughter needed in conjuncti ...more
Adam Howe
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great stuff. You get the sense that Willeford almost resented the borderline commercial success of his Hoke Moseley books, and enjoyed rubbing unsuspecting readers' faces in the dirt... not to mention screwing with his publishers! ...more
I almost felt like I was reading a crime fiction novel written by Raymond Carver. Melancholic crime fiction?. I don't know if SIDESWIPE can be classified as a crime fiction novel. After Willeford achieved success with MIAMI BLUES, he really cranked it up a few notches, wrote the novels that he wanted to write. Hoke Moseley is the exact opposite of a tough cop. He seems to be resigned to his fate, stops talking to his police partner and daughter and moves back in with his father who gives him a j ...more
Igor Trushevsky
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Hoke Moseley novels are about a detective, but they are not novels in the detective genre. Charles Willeford never dangles any clues or misdirection in front of the readers, and the actual crime that needs to be solved doesn't happen until the tail end of the book. Instead, he holds the readers interest with remarkably vivid portraits of his characters, various locales in Miami area and of course the themes he brings up (How easily decent (but gullable) people can sometimes be turned to crim ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Both parallel threads of this novel seem to meander, never seeming to move the story forward. But don't be deceived—the two unrelated narratives come together in a crashing climax. Halfway through the book the action starts building momentum so slowly the reader is not fully aware that the story is moving forward at breakneck speed by the last two chapters.

Interestingly enough, the book is a rewrite of an earlier Willeford novel No Experience necessary, or at least the Pop Sinkiewicz half.
Carla Remy
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
The character of Stanley Sinciewicz, and what happens to him, is the best part.
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The description on the back of the jacket begins with the line, “There comes a time in every detective's life when he's had enough.” After reading that, and not knowing anything about the character, Hoke Mosely, you might assume this story was about a law and order man pushed to the edge of sanity by the degenerate dredges of society, akin to a right-wing revenge fantasy like Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry or Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey in Death Wish. You’d be wrong, kind of, but you’d also be ...more
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
🐴 🍖
following the botched supermarket heist things get real anticlimactic real fast, but willbro's command of what i would classify as "sad bachelor stuff" (games of solitaire; adding extra onions to canned stew; shooting the breeze with the downstairs neighbor about horseflies; having strong opinions about the best & worst stouffers frozen entrees) remains unrivaled. gotta love as well the perversity of a crime novel where the detective makes just wildly wrong deductions (lol @ concluding that stan ...more
Thomas Pluck
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As great as Miami Blues. No one writes characters like Willeford and we get some deusies in this one.
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best of the Hoke Moseley novels so far. I’ve got one left, but this’ll be hard to top.

Alternates back and forth between two unrelated stories until a violent intersection at the end. Funny, strange, and twisted.
Lil' Grogan
Jun 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: pit-spiral, 3-5, crime, chokle
Ballsy. Possibly one of the stranger detective novels I've read. The detective is essentially on break (midlife crisis) and we spend most of the book waiting for the damn crime to be committed!!!

Half of the book follows Moseley trying to simplify his life (with amusing results) and heart-warmingly dealing with his youngest teenaged daughter. The other half follows Stanley, a sad-hack retiree who poisons dogs, and Troy, a criminal psychopath who brings together a "family" to pull off a heist.

Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Weird book. Not sure that it qualifies as a mystery. Not much of a mystery to it. Just two stories that eventually intersect, with the detective in the story being the point of intersection.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Alan Sepinwall, my favorite TV critic, has a running gag in his columns where he talks about how he’d like to see a character from whatever show he’s reviewing have a spin-off where they do banal tasks relational to the character’s motives. My personal favorite was the suggestion that goofy Justified gangster Wynn Duffy get a series called Wynnipeg in which he gets continually frustrated at teaching Canadians how to be criminals.

At any rate, three books into the Hoke Moseley series and I feel li
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
hard to say whether these books are great because the criminals are so odd/tenderly sketched, or because hoke the nominal hero is such a dirtbag, or because you recognize yourself in both. doesn't actually matter. this particular moment in american history feels like a bad wedgie so it's been a joy to disappear into these for a few hours a day ...more
Mary Overton
True noir, gritty and sensational, and yet the funniest crime book I have ever read ... told in a voice so dry and dead-pan that you can miss outrageous lines. And the story is full of the best bad guys ever.

Homicide detective Hoke Moseley suffers a mid-life crisis and shuts down, literally. He won't talk and won't get out of bed, so his family and partner bundle him off to his father's house.
"Hoke Moseley spent the next three days in the back guest bedroom in his father's house. ....
"He didn'
Jan 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Imagine this: adding Grape-Nuts to a sieve so you can run hot water to soften them up so you can eat them without putting in your false teeth; then gumming them at the dining room table while reading the sports section. Hoke, a homicide investigator lives with his partner Ellita who has the unbearable habit of letting the egg yolks run through her teeth. Ellita, who is pregnant, helps with the rent and the care of Hoke two teenage daughters.

Shades of Ed McBain, the writing, I mean. Hoke gets fed
Cindy Mooney
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I feel the need to review this because a friend recommended this book to me and I feel bad for giving it only 2 stars but I have reasons. I would say it's more of a 2.5 almost 3 star than a low 2 but I can't give half stars so there you go.
First I'd like to say I read a lot of crime/mystery novels so it's not the entire genre I don't like. I've heard this classified as noir and while I have pretty much no idea what that is I can say maybe its not for me? I've also watched movies that people sai
This one is more like 3.5 stars.

Offbeat Miami detective Hoke Moseley has reached the end of his rope. Suffering from a nervous breakdown he moves out to a remote Florida community in order to escape the complexities of his life. Instead of chasing down murder suspects, Hoke manages an apartment complex and attempts to keep his head buried deep in the sand. Retired auto worker Stanley Sinkiewicz is sent to jail under false pretenses and makes the acquaintance of a psychopathic criminal. His new f
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
It isn't often that you pick up a novel because of a reference in another book. So as I read Val Macdermid's 'Fever in the bone' there is a scene in which her hero is browsing his deceased fathers book shelves and sees books by Charles willeford. Intrigued I picked this up in the library and really enjoyed the story and character of Hoke Moseley a tired Miami detective who has a mild breakdown and moves back to his fathers home on sick leave to caretake his dads condo buliding. Running parrallel ...more
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Following a breakdown of sorts, Hoke leaves Miami for Singer Island, where he hopes to create a less complicated life for himself. (Hint: it involves a wardrobe of wash-and-wear jumpsuits.) Meanwhile, psycho Troy Louden is planning a big robbery with a very unlikely gang. As I was reading, I kept thinking that this one wasn't as good as the previous series installment, New Hope for the Dead, partly because Singer Island is less interesting than Miami, partly because the two plotlines are unconne ...more
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Jeremy Hornik
Nov 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book ends magnificently.

To get around the heavy, crazy traffic at the Golden Glades exchange, which every wise Floridian avoided, if possible, Hoke left the Sunshine Parkway at the Hollywood exit and picked up the I-95 for the rest of the way into the city. As the thousands of lighted windows in the tall Miami buildings came into view, Stanley spoke for the first time on the trip.
“What’s going to happen to me, Sergeant?”
“Hell, Pop,” Hoke said, not unkindly, “except for the paperwork, it al
I like a story that goes 65 mph in a 55, and this one is pushing 40 in a 55. It’s the minutiae that killed me though. A lot a lot of detail, even in the dialogue, and there was a point to it and a payoff, but I wasn’t in the mood to settle in and pass that kind of time with these characters, not right now.
Charles Wilson
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not the best of the Hoke Mosley novels, and you'll probably be lost if you begin here because the plots are somewhat serial. I'd recommend Miami Blues. ...more
Glass River
Aug 19, 2020 marked it as fic-guided
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you are a fan of Willeford, one of the most underrated of crime novelists in America, despite the films ("Cockfighter," and "Miami Blues") made from his work, then this novel will appeal to you. There is irreverent humor that will make the book and its story vivid and immediate for interested readers. If you have never encountered Willeford, "Miami Blues" might be a good place to start. It's too bad there aren't more Hoke Moseley novels, for his account of life as a Miami detective is true to ...more
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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)
  • New Hope for the Dead (Hoke Mosely #2)
  • The Way We Die Now
  • Grimhaven

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