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Futzing Around

Will Frears: Charles Willeford, 20 March 2014

Miami Blues 
by Charles Willeford.
Penguin, 246 pp., £8.99, August 2012, 978 0 14 119901 6
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... Charles Willeford​ is in a category all of his own in the annals of American crime writing. He is neither glamorous nor pulpy; he didn’t write airport fiction and he didn’t write bestsellers with aspirations to literature. He simply wrote crime fiction as though reporting real life. Hoke, a TV series based on the four Hoke Moseley books he wrote in the 1980s, has just been announced in the US; it will star Paul Giamatti, the shlub from Sideways ...

Better than literature

Peter Campbell, 23 April 1992

Native Tongue 
by Carl Hiaasen.
Macmillan, 325 pp., £14.99, February 1992, 9780333568293
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... In this he differs from other thriller writers who have found in Florida the new face of crime. Charles Willeford, whose Detective Sergeant Hoke Moseley ‘looked a little better, he thought, with the blue-grey teeth and always put his dentures in before shaving’, never gets half so close to creating dreamboats. Hiaasen’s use of fancy ...

Bloodbaths

John Sutherland, 21 April 1988

Misery 
by Stephen King.
Hodder, 320 pp., £11.95, September 1987, 0 340 39070 0
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The Tommyknockers 
by Stephen King.
Hodder, 563 pp., £12.95, February 1988, 0 340 39069 7
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Touch 
by Elmore Leonard.
Viking, 245 pp., £10.95, February 1988, 9780670816545
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Sideswipe 
by Charles Willeford.
Gollancz, 293 pp., £10.95, March 1988, 0 575 04197 8
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Ratking 
by Michael Dibdin.
Faber, 282 pp., £10.95, April 1988, 0 571 15147 7
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... match and a re-run of Starsky and Hutch. The faithful reader of Leonard will do better to turn to Charles Willeford’s Sideswipe, a work which one can plausibly call the best novel Leonard never wrote. He obviously thinks so too, and has graciously permitted the English publisher to use his self-deprecating praise in their advertisements: ‘No ...

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