Hoke Moseley #1: Miami Blues by Charles Willeford (Ballantine 32016 – 1985)

Ballantine 32016, 1st printing

A blithe psychopath fresh from San Quentin, Freddy “Junior” Frenger flies into the Miami airport with a pocketful of stolen credit cards and disappears, leaving behind the corpse of a Hare Krishna. Soon homicide detective Hoke Moseley is pursuing the chameleonlike Frenger and his airheaded hooker girlfriend through the posh hotels, Cuban ghettos, and seedy suburban malls of Miami – the setting of their dangerous game of hide and seek, and of this brilliant, searing, oddly funny novel.

Title: Miami Blues
Author: Charles Willeford
Imprint & Number: Ballantine 32016
Cover price: 2.95
Publication date: 1985
Cover artist: uncredited
ISBN: 0-345-32016-6

Miami Blues

Miami Blues

First in the Hoke Moseley series. Hollywood did a little bit better with this film adaptation than usual. Alec Baldwin makes a pretty good Junior, while Jennifer Jason Leigh does as well as anyone could as the oblivious girlfriend. I would have cast someone other than Fred Ward as Hoke. He isn’t bad, just not quite the Hoke Moseley type. The film focuses primarily on Junior’s antics while Hoke Moseley is reduced to little more than a supporting character.

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