Sideswipe

Sideswipe

Book - 2005
Average Rating:
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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.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2005
Edition: First Vintage CrimeBlack Lizard edition
ISBN: 9781400032488
1400032482
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY WILLEFO 2005
Characteristics: 215 pages ; 21 cm

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jackseney Aug 02, 2015

Charles Willeford enjoyed a reputation among clubby crime writers in the 1980s, before his death. He enjoys a "cult" status now among crime fiction wonks. Some first-time readers will wonder why, based on "Sideswipe," the oddness of which appeals to me but which may strike other readers as ponderously slow and well nigh pointless. One of his fellow authors, in those blurbs that they get paid good money to write, referred to Willeford as a "master of suspense." Where he got that from is beyond me, since "Sideswipe" seems deliberately ANTI-suspenseful. Willeford seems to go out of his way to interrupt potentially exciting
sequences, about a killer cowboy planning a supermarket robbery in Miami, with snail's-pace chapters about a homicide cop's rather mild nervous breakdown and recovery. The cop doesn't even do any detecting related to the case at hand until near the end of the book! Instead, characters have lengthy exchanges about what's for dinner and what kind of drinks they want. One decides that she'll just have the one cocktail, since she's going to have wine with her meal. People then sit and watch sports on their "new cable channels" (it's set in the 1980s, remember). They finally go to bed and sleep. They get up to enjoy "a substantial breakfast". Then they go on philosophical journeys such as: "Should I become an apartment building manager, or not?" In the cop's part of the story, it goes on like this chapter after chapter. Now, I'm an unusually patient reader and found this experiment in slow-motion plotting interesting, thinking that it had a sort of existentialist air about it. But first-time readers might just find it baffling. Willeford has a good eye for detail and setting and never lacks craftsmanship, but I don't know how many readers will appreciate that in today's world of crime novels that begin by yelling and shooting at you. More recommendable would be his "Miami Blues," featuring the same cop with more energy, and with his eccentricities endearing him rather than inducing drowsiness. The career criminal in that one is similar to the one here. Willeford deserves credit for never making his amoral psychopaths out to be "ingenious" Hannibal Lecters or suave Bond villains. Instead, they do what the vast majority of real criminals do: plot dumb robberies and other mundane schemes that endanger innocents. "Sideswipe," then, is for people who want to try something different, and slower. Readers addicted to today's fast-paced, but stupider, crime novels may want to look elsewhere.

LPL_DirectorBrad Jan 21, 2015

It is a crime how unheard of Charles Willeford remains. The Hoke Moseley series of four novels is excellent Miami crime fiction from the mid-1980s. The villains are ridiculous. The protagonist Hoke Moseley is endlessly fasincating. Read these books!

r
radballen
Sep 20, 2013

Charles Willeford's Hoke Moseley series are classic Miami crime novels. The quartet is worth reading. Preferably quickly, in a row, with drink in hand.

r
radballen
Sep 20, 2013

Charles Willeford's Hoke Moseley series are classic Miami crime novels. The quartet is worth reading. Preferably quickly, in a row, with drink in hand.

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