“IQ” (Mullholland Books), by Joe Ide
Sherlock Holmes - and all his incarnations - never go out of style. It’s not just the updates that keep the Great Detective in our minds, but the myriad stories that use Holmes’ traits of perception, keen observation and even anti-social personality to fuel fresh plots.
Author Joe Ide incorporates those attributes into an original story and character. “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.
“IQ” is Isaiah Quintabe, who earned the nickname that he hates because of his intellect and observation powers. He was deemed “near genius” for his reasoning scores. He dropped out of high school following the hit-and-run death of his older brother, Marcus, who raised him. In danger of becoming a career burglar, or worse, Isaiah finds salvation of sorts doing sleuthing-type jobs - his form of community service - for his neighbors in East Long Beach, California. He takes on cases the police could not or would not get involved in, and his latest assignment could pay a lot more than what he usually gets.
Calvin Wright, a rapper known as Black the Knife, hires Isaiah to find out who ordered a hit on him that involved a huge pit bull and a sharpshooter. Calvin is frightened, and he refuses to leave his mansion to finish an album that’s due soon. Isaiah maneuvers the worlds of rap music, pit bulls and rival gangs, and deals with Calvin’s odd bodyguards and a conniving music executive.
The brisk plot of “IQ” is balanced by the intriguing character of Isaiah, inexperienced in the ways of the world but with intelligence that makes him anything but naive. Forever searching for the driver who killed his brother, Isaiah needs redemption. But he may not find it, despite his own form of penance for a different tragedy that occurred when he was burglarizing businesses.
Ide’s storytelling skills don’t waver as “IQ” delivers realistic twists and a solid finale.
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