MIAMI BLUES by Charles Willeford


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The half-accidental war between a ""blithe psychopath"" and a decrepit Miami cop--in a nasty crime-comedy that's full of casual violence, outrageous coincidences, and hilariously rude dialogue. Freddy Frenger--28, body-built, fresh out of San Quentin--arrives in Miami with some stolen credit cards, he immediately breaks the finger of an annoying Hare Krishna beggar at the airport; and, installed at a posh hotel, he promptly teams up with air-headed amateur hooker Susan Waggoner (even though she's slow to oblige Freddy's taste for anal sex). Meanwhile, Hoke Mosely of homicide--42, divorced, living in hotel seediness--is investigating the death of that Hare Krishna beggar, who died of shock (!) . . . and who just happened to have been Susan Waggoner's incestuous brother Marty (!!). So the curious cop and the paranoid psycho are soon crossing paths: when Hoke gets too curious, Freddy beats him up, destroys his false teeth, steals his badge (which comes in handy for assorted robberies), frames him as a bribe-taker. And eventually, if only to protect himself, the much-battered Hoke must track this cheerful monster down--but not before Freddy has bought a house in the suburbs, been run over by a car, and killed any number of innocent bystanders. A bit too silly for full-grit verisimilitude, a bit too ugly for Westlake-level fun--but Willeford (Cockfighter, The Burnt Orange Heresy) has a marvelously deadpan way with losers on both sides of the law. . . and Susan is one of fiction's most appalling/endearing space-cadets.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1983
Publisher: St. Martin's