East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, OAPs are getting hoodwinked, children are missing. But word has spread: if you've got a case the police can't or won't touch, Isaiah Quintabe will help you out.
They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. He charges his clients whatever they can afford, which might be a set of tyres or some homemade muffins. But now he needs a client who can pay. And the only way to that client is through a jive-talking low-life drug dealer he thought he'd left behind. Then there's the case itself. A drug-addled rap star surrounded by a crew of flunkies who believes his life is in danger, a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic, and a monster killer dog. If he solves this case, IQ can put right a mistake he made long ago. If he doesn't, it won't just be the hit man coming after him....
"Ide successfully makes his detective's brilliance plausible in this gripping and moving debut." (Publishers Weekly)
"One of the most original thrillers of the year.... [A] sometimes scary, often whimsical, off-the-wall delight.... It's a mad world that late-blooming Joe Ide has brought forth from his past, a spicy mix of urban horror, youthful striving and show-business absurdity. His IQ is an original and welcome creation." (Patrick Anderson, Washington Post)
"Wonderfully quirky.... Exhilarating language and [an] oddball cast.... A total laff-riot." (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review)
"Joe Ide. Remember that name.... Mystery aficionados will remember it as the breakout debut of a major new voice in the suspense genre." (BookPage)
"A few things I love about this...[IQ is] rooted in his community in a way that his inspiration never was...IQ is a small story in the way the best of Conan Doyle's were.... It's a detective story that plays out very close to home, on the streets and corners that Ide (who grew up in South Central) knows best. And Isaiah fits into those streets like they were made for him. A consulting detective for a time and a place that needs one." (Jason Sheehan, NPR)
"IQ delivers a moving, yet action-packed plot that never disappoints as it looks at rap music, a community and a young man trying to find his place in the world. The brisk plot of IQ is balanced by the intriguing character of Isaiah, experienced in the ways of the world but with intelligence that makes him anything but naive.... Ide's storytelling skills don't waver." (The Associated Press)
"This L.A. crime story offers a gripping plot, an unconventional hero, and a huge heart.... I expect to see a film or a series and I hope Ide is as prolific as his fellow L.A. crime novelist Connelly because I eagerly await his next book." (The San Bernadino Sun)
"IQ has a completely original star...[in] what is apt to be a madly lovable new detective series about this smart guy and the vibrantly drawn criminal culture that surrounds him.... Mr. Ide...has also built and bolstered Isaiah as a fine, durable character for the long run...[and] ends the book with a meaningful jolt. It gives this story closure but does nothing to suggest that Mr. Ide and his canny hero won't be back again." (Janet Maslin, The New York Times)
"Joe Ide introduces one of the coolest investigators working the mean streets of Los Angeles.... Ide emulates Walter Mosley, that great chronicler of South Central Los Angeles via the Easy Rawlins novels. That's some serious company with whom to be traveling." (Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Tribune)
"There's lots of profanity, enormous lethal dogs, and rippling dialogue in this debut of what will hopefully become a series." (Dayton Daily News)
"IQ is darkly moody and, of course, breathtakingly clever.... Don't miss it." (Esther J. Cepeda, Washington Post)
"The start of a brand-new comedic crime franchise with a bright future.... Aggressively entertaining plotting is paired with the kind of dialogue for which readers love Don Winslow. This series is a Los Angeles classic right from the start." (Janet Maslin, The New York Times)
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Sherlock Holmes from the wrong side of the tracks