This was also a recent #Friday56 feature, read it here.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am reviewing the book, IQ: A combustible cocktail of Bosch, Hiaasen and Conan Doyle by Joe Ide.
^^ This is the first Joe Ide book I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and I heard it won a lot of awards; the Anthony, Macavity, and Shamus Awards, for starters. He’s also an Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel by an American Author (2017). Hearing this, I just had to see what all the fuss was about. Did it manage to live up to my expectations?
^^ Isaiah Quintabe (a.k.a. IQ) is a poor, self-made, unlicensed PI, who also happens to be a genius and a modern day young African-American Sherlock all rolled into one. A character like this, in itself, is brilliant! From the moment he steps onto the page he had me turning the pages fast and furiously. He’s fun, quirky and totally hilarious.
^^ Like all good books, this main character has his issues. There’s another side to him too, and through a series of vivid flashbacks we get to see the sort of man he really is and what made him that way.
^^ From the beginning of the book I found myself thinking, ‘this story is so different!’ The first baddie we meet, Boyd, is a classic example. Although he’s a nasty piece of work, I found myself feeling sorry for him. He was such a useless baddie, it was as though he needed a lesson on how to commit crimes properly. Usually, I’d say a comical killer wouldn’t work, but Joe Ide has a way of writing that makes this work just fine!
^^ I found the characters to be really authentic, vivid and down-to-earth. With Isaiah you get what you see. He may get what he wants via not so legal means, but he knows what he’s doing and gets results. When he is working in L.A. and getting involved in the kind of crime only gangsters deal with, you find out exactly what makes Isaiah tick, and the setting for this all just adds deliciously to the whole noir flavour of the story.
Overall: This is a fun crime story with a fresh and humorous 1st person POV voice, which reminds me of those films and graphic novels where the main protagonist is the voice over throughout the whole story. Yes, the hype is true. It’s kind of a very American themed, noir mix of Conan Doyle, Martin Scorsese, with a touch of Sherlock Holmes. Only he’s different. Very different indeed. Happy to recommend.
His latest book is now also out. Published October 17th 2017 by Mulholland Books. Take a look, here: Righteous (IQ, #2)
About the Book
A resident of one of LA’s toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores.
East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood’s high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can’t or won’t touch.
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 tires or a homemade casserole. To get by, he’s forced to take on clients that can pay.
This time, it’s a rap mogul whose life is in danger. As Isaiah investigates, he encounters a vengeful ex-wife, a crew of notorious cutthroats, a monstrous attack dog, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. The deeper Isaiah digs, the more far reaching and dangerous the case becomes.