Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Date Read: October 9, 2016
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.
I liked this one. I didn't love it but I liked it well enough. I did seem to take me a little longer to read this book than it usually would and I think that a big reason was that this was a book that was easy for me to set aside. I am really not sure why this story didn't completely hook me but the fact is it just didn't grab me like I wanted. In the end, I found it to be a book that I am glad that I read.
This book really told two stories set in two different timelines. I liked the stories that were set in both of the timelines well enough but it did seem to flip back and forth a lot. Isaiah, or IQ, is at the center of both timelines. He isn't a detective or anything official but he has a reputation for being able to solve mysteries. He takes on the case of a rap star whose has found himself in danger which takes him in a lot of exciting directions. The second timeline is set in the past during Isaiah's teenage years when he was learning to get by without the family support he was used to.
I didn't feel any real connection to any of the characters. I liked Isaiah but was just starting to feel like we were getting to know him as the story came to an end. I do think that the jumping back and forth in time made it a little harder for me to really feel a connection with the characters. It seemed like as soon as I was starting to get a little hooked on one story, I would turn the page and the book would switch to the other time period.
This book did a lot of things well. I thought the actual mystery was nicely plotted. I had a really hard time even coming close to guessing who might actually be responsible for the threat against the rapper. The way that the dogs were used in the story was really very interesting and completely original. I did like the way that Isaiah reasoned through problems.
I would recommend this book to mystery fans. Isaiah is an interesting problem solver that I think will appeal to a lot of readers.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Mulholland Books via NetGalley.
About the Author
Joe Ide is of Japanese American descent. Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Joe's favorite books were the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. The idea that a person could face the world and vanquish his enemies with just his intelligence fascinated him. Joe went on to earn a graduate degree and had several careers before writing his debut novel, IQ, inspired by his early experiences and his love of Sherlock. Joe lives in Santa Monica, California. Visit his website at www.joeide.com