by Ide, Joe

With a full-fledged partner and a legitimate business marking him as successful, Isaiah Quintabe finds a meaningful new connection when a young painter approaches him for help tracking down her missing mother.

Joe Ide grew up in South Central Los Angeles. Joe's favorite books were the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. He held a variety of different jobs-including Hollywood screenwriter-before writing IQ, which went onto win the Anthony, Macavity, and Shamus awards for Best Debut Novel. Joe lives in Santa Monica, California. Visit his website at www.joeide.com

*Starred Review* Ide makes it three for three with his latest IQ novel (following Righteous?, 2017). East Long Beach PI Isaiah "IQ" Quintabe's off-the-grid, help-the-disenfranchised business is thriving in every way but one-money-paying clients (Louella Barnes just settled her bill by knitting Isaiah a reindeer Christmas sweater). IQ's pal, streetwise, chief operating officer-wannabe Dodson, hopes to turn the business around with the help of spreadsheets and a gangsta approach to collections. However, the drug dealer whom Dodson, with help from Isaiah, robbed back in the day is out of jail and looking for his pound of flesh. Meanwhile, Isaiah has a new client, Grace, who is looking for her mom, who is wanted for murder; Isaiah is smitten with Grace and takes the case only to discover that she is every bit as socially awkward as IQ. And the vanished mother leads quickly to a confrontation with a group of former MPs who thrive on torture and are convinced that Grace's mother stole their money. Naturally, a confrontation ensues, with Grace, Dodson, and Isaiah seriously underarmed (as Dodson puts it, "We gonna go in there with a slingshot and a caulking gun?"). Once again, Ide brilliantly combines caper-style comedy with real-world violence and more than a dollop of complex human relationships, the kind that too often lead to mess and muddle rather than happily-ever-aftering. If you haven't discovered this series yet, remedial action is required immediately. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

The hip-hop generation's answer to Sherlock Holmes returns fast and furious in the third installment of Ide's (Righteous, 2017, etc.) celebrated series. Over the course of the last two years, Isaiah Quintabe's stature as a quick-witted neighborhood private eye has grown beyond his East Long Beach, California, base. His bank account, however, hasn't kept pace with his legend. So IQ's friend and partner, Dodson, a lapsed street hustler, tells him it's time to stop accepting ugly sweaters, home repairs, and baked goods as payment and go full-tilt marketing, complete with a Facebook page and rate scale. This business plan quickly goes out the proverbial window when Isaiah accepts as payment paintings from a truculent, enigmatic young artist named Grace, with whom he'd become "intrigued" in the previous novel. Grace wants IQ to find her mother, but when he presses her for details, she becomes resentful and secretive. He deduces that she knows more than she's telling, and before lo ng, it becomes apparent that Grace and her mother are both in over their heads against a sadistic cabal of Iraqi War veterans implicated in torture at Abu Ghraib more heinous than other, previously exposed incidents. Meanwhile, Dodson, just getting accustomed to new fatherhood, is being blackmailed into robbing a neighborhood dealer named Junior who has a penchant for misusing four-syllable words. Then there's Isaiah's Moriarty, Seb, the Oxford-educated African gangster lurking along the edges for any opportunity to ruin, or end, IQ's life. Ide's penchant for colorful characters, droll banter, and whackadoodle set pieces is aided by a growing command of narrative dynamics. And Isaiah Quintabe remains an engaging, fascinating protagonist, but there are signs here that he's becoming more an action hero than a puzzle solver. The world has plenty of action heroes—but nowhere near enough street-wise intellects to serve as role models. There's a harder, darker edge to the vi o lence that gives this ripsnorting follow-up a rueful yet resonant aftertaste, perhaps in anticipation of more unsettling jolts in the hero's future. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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