RARA-AVIS: New Hope for the Dead

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 11 Jan 2001

This is the second Hoke Moseley one, where his daughters come to stay with him and they all end up sharing a house with Ellita Sanchez, his single, pregnant partner.

It's also the one he wrote after the unpublished GRIMHAVEN, where Hoke has retired from the police department. His daughters show up to stay with him, and he ends up killing them. The two books make two parallel universes, one where Hoke cannot deal with complexity and wants things as simple as possible--even if it means sitting in a jail cell for murder--and the other where his depressing life is thrown into chaos, but which he manages to control and bring into nice shape at the end. His parenting skills are pretty low (witness his birds and bees talk with his daughters, and taking out Aileen's braces was horrible), but their mother is worse and they'll always get an honest answer from their father, even if he corrupted himself to provide for them.

There's a lot of talk about teeth in this one, like in the first one. Hoke's dentures are always on his mind, and he takes out his daughter Aileen's braces with toenail clippers. There's a fair bit of food, but rooms and furnishings get the most space. Hoke has three books in his room: HEIDI (left over from his divorce), A STONE FOR DANNY FISHER by Harold Robbins, and a Webster's dictionary. When he buys and reads "an occasional paperback novel," he leaves it in the lobby of his hotel for the others. What's with the Harold Robbins novel? Does anyone know what it's about?

Hoke's a lot more confident in this one, perhaps because he has his teeth. What always gets me is how much he knows. He's never at a loss, he knows how things work, and he can advise a security guard to get a smaller gun so his kidneys hurt less, arrange a rental lease for a house in one day, put pressure on a bank manager so he can find out private information without a warrant, explain Miami culture, or tell his daughters how to find a job. His taste in art is horrendous, though, and he doesn't know what "iatrogenic" means.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 11 Jan 2001 EST