Sideswipe: A Hoke Moseley Novel - Charles Willeford, Lawrence Block 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 up with trying to solve an interminable number of cold cases that seem to be forever piling up on his desk. He retreats into a catatonic state, finally decides to chuck it all, and leaves for his father's place on Riviera Beach. He has decided he wants the simple life. Right. We all know there is no such thing, and soon his bulimic daughter (recognized as such only by a neighbor) comes to visit (she gets shipped off to his ex,) he's having to deal with the myriad problems as manager of his father's apartment building (he gets free rent in one of the apartments) and Ellita calls for help in dealing with her mother's thoughts on amniocentisis.

A side plot (never fear, the two will intersect) involves a retired Ford employee falsely accused of molesting his neighbor's daughter, a problem that's soon rectified but not before Stanley meets Troy in jail who has a scheme to make lots of money, also involving a painter and a former stripper whose face was mutilated by her boss.

Enough of the plot. You can find that elsewhere. Hoke soon realizes that the simple life is effervescent.

First rate story and writing by a master. Mislabeled as a thriller, though, unless impending disaster provides you with the sense of thrill. An engrossing, very enjoyable story. If you like McBain, Moseley, Leonard, et al, you'll very much like Williford.