3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An enjoyable crime novel,
This review is from: Miami Blues (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
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This is a good, very readable thriller from 1984. Set in the Miami of the time, it features detective Hoke Moseley in pursuit of a very plausibly-drawn killer and I found it engaging and enjoyable.
Charles Willeford is a new author to me, and I am glad to have found him. He writes very well in the "hard-boiled" tradition of US crime fiction. He has a flat, unsensational style which makes the story grip and, slightly counter-intuitively, makes the action and violence all the more shocking when it happens. Hoke Moseley is a good central character and the "blithe psychopath" Freddy Frenger is very well drawn and disturbingly plausible. Miami and its seedier side are extremely well-evoked and I found myself thoroughly drawn into the book. It has to be said that the plot depends upon an extremely unlikely death and a coincidence which really ought to have made the author blush, but these both happen early on and everything hangs together well thereafter so they didn't really interfere with my enjoyment.
Good though it is, I am not sure this really deserves the title of a Penguin Classic. Willeford isn't in the same league as real classic authors of the genre like Chandler, Cain or Hammett, but it's a good read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good crime novel.