A Deeper I.Q.

Righteous (An IQ Novel) - Joe Ide

Readers first met Isaiah Quintabe in Joe Ide’s 2016 novel, I.Q. (as Isaiah is known around LA due to his cleverness).  That book introduced this unconventional modern-day Sherlock Holmes and his Watson stand-in, Dodson.  Partners in both committing and combatting crime, the duo used their connections and street smarts to solve cases that required more creative methods and flexible payment plans.  Isaiah has never really recovered from the death of his beloved brother Marcus. The hit-and-run occurred right before his eyes when he was seventeen, and he has spent the last eight years replaying the scene over in his mind.  When he is not sleuthing for his neighbors, Isaiah spends his time trying to discover the identity of the driver who took Marcus’ life.  Righteous is the second in the series, and this time IQ uncovers evidence that indicates that his brother’s death was no accident.  While searching for his brother’s killer, he also is hired to help his brother’s former girlfriend, Sarita.  Her sister is in serious trouble with a Chinese crime syndicate in Las Vegas due to mounting gambling debts.  IQ enlists Dodson’s aid again, dragging him away from his new legitimate business and extremely pregnant girlfriend. The case sprawls back to LA and creates some conflict with another gang, the Locos, who are not big fans of the amateur detective.  Righteous alternates back and forth between the two storylines, with exciting action culminating in a satisfying conclusion.  The IQ books are vey well written, capturing the attitude, patois and character of cultures that aren’t typically represented in classic crime fiction.  Those new to Ide’s work should start with the first book to fully appreciate the evolution of IQ’s character. The first novel sets the scene and provides important background, whereas the second novel delves deeper into IQ’s psychology-addressing his sense of isolation and obsessive need for revenge.  The door remains left open for future installments and it will be interesting to see where Ide takes his characters next. Fans won’t have long to wait: the third novel in the series, Wrecked, is due to be released in October 2018.