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Hero…avenger…righter of wrongs…takes no BS from anyone, least of all neighborhood bullies or taunting thugs – Isiah Quintabe is a young modern urban noir detective hero. On his own, IQ, has developed his skills as a sharp eyed, hyper-observant, quick witted young man. In his everyday life, has the same concerns as the rest of us have had - high school grades, girls, friends, how to turn a buck to make rent, etc.
The author opens with quick views into who IQ is to his neighborhood. This is done through IQ reading his emails which are all requests for help with a variety of problems from lost daughters to retribution/revenge for the murder of a family member. He feels a deep connection and responsibility to the people in his neighborhood. How IQ approaches the situations and resolves them is fresh, clever, and unexpected.
As the author tosses out subtle cues to characters, he weaves together back story and current story lines, no fat or waste in this meaty story line. Isiah Quintabe is a quiet local hero who protects the defenseless using wit and unexpected weapons to achieve positive outcomes. IQ is not your same old, tired detective tale.
You’re there in the moment with the main character through the reader, Sullivan Jones. He brings an intimate tone with his voice and has a variety in his vocalization range which helps differentiate among characters from a concerned grandma hoping to recover stolen wedding gifts to street toughs.
This is a well told tale. The author sculpts great descriptions of place and characters from their physical traits to their personality. He tells each main character’s experiences which shaped the person they are at the crux of the main story line. All the loose end are neatly tied up by the end. It leaves this listener looking for the next offerings – Righteous and Wrecked.
Read this as part of a Mystery book group - it lead to a great discussion! Interesting sleuth and good story. We all agree we would continue reading the series. Try it!
I found this book to be a quick, pleasant read about the nascent career of IQ, a brilliant detective in the mold of Sherlock Holmes. This Sherlockian detective is a young black man; his London is the mean streets of Southern California.
The writing is breezy and rings true. The story jumps back and forth between the beginnings of detection to the present day's case. But each jump is a chapter unto its own and is clearly dated. Action is plentiful and not always violent as IQ's ancillary characters are introduced bit by bit. I'm glad I just discovered this author as I now have 2 others on back order.
No wonder this new writer won a number of award for his premier book -- its a true winner. Isiah is an unexpected detective living in a tough neighborhood of LA. You will learn about his past and how it shaped him into the investigator he is today. Great characters and you will keep wanting to read this all night to the end or at least unto 1:30 or so. Loved it and can't wait for the next book. A new Stephanie Plum.
Wow! Joe Ide has been compared to Elmore Leonard; there is no higher praise. The writing, the pacing, the dialog combine to create magic. All the characters, their quirky relationships, and the East L.A. neighborhood setting are perfectly imagined and portrayed. Not to mention the pleasure of finding out "who done it" and why.
Interesting premise and a compelling story. However, I found the time shifting confusing and felt like the book was very slow until the end, where the ending was more of an epilogue than a dramatic end to a "whodunit". Because there were a lot o stories going on simultaneously I also felt like it was hard to keep track who was who. I liked the character of Isaiah, and would consider reading future installments, but I'd prefer a book with a more linear style that had better pacing.
I had some trouble following the plot, in part because the chapters jumped back and forth over a decade. But overall, I enjoyed this book. IQ is not your average detective. Instead he's a super smart black kid who has lost his beloved older brother, basically a parent to him. Yes, the book is full of profanity, but that didn't bother me. The author, Joe Ide, is a Japanese American who grew up in South Central LA, thereby getting the street smarts necessary to write this book. I'm looking forward to reading the second installment.
Kept me turning the pages several nights in a row. A really clever and interesting twist on the "Sherlock Holmes" template.
A high-school dropout after the traumatic death of his older brother after a hit-and-run accident, IQ resolves to help people around him with his unique mix of street smarts and inductive reasoning, a Sherlock Holmes for inner-city LA. this was one of those books where I wanted the novel to be longer just so I could spend more time with these characters.
IQ - the premise - an exceptionally bright young man who is pursuing being a kind of private eye - bit of a stretch. His skills seem comparable to other private investigators. But I would like to see the next book to see if Joe Ide can sharpen his focus of Isaiah Quintabe.
Great start but then disappointing. I hated the time shifting. IQ is an interesting character, but he is absent during a large part of the book.
Can't believe I read the whole thang. Couple of weak chuckles only, lots of frustration with weak story, characters & plotting.
I hope more books are in the works for this very original detective, Isaiah Quintabe (IQ). He’s from the LA ‘hood. He’s street smart, knows his way around gangs, and yet, incredibly, can use his intelligence and street knowledge to solve crimes. Often done for free for people in the neighborhood, he takes the occasional one for pay. It is necessary to read to the end, in order to fully understand how he is repaying for the guilt he feels in deaths resulting from a gang war.
To much gutter trash "N" wording for my tastes. This author should be bagging french fries instead of crafting novels.
A unique blending of Sherlockian crime detection mixed with down home South Central LA flavor and sprinkled lightly with high humor.
YO! Where's my samitch????????
As I type this I hope that the author is writing the second book in a series.
This novel was what Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 would call faboo. It fascinates me how we so easily label everyone on one side as snowflakes, libtards or social justice warriors while everyone on the other team is racist, red neck, fear mongering, paranoid, delusional, gullible, ignorant, knuckle dragging, conspiracy theorist, Repubnican, extremist, Teabagger, Teatard, Republitard, Rethuglican, xenophobic, misgoynist. Anyone who has lived or worked in South Central or places like this racially diverse and oppressed area know that in reality life is way more nuanced and layered. I thought for sure this was a brother writing and that I'd stumbled onto the next Colson Whitehead. When I found out Joe Ide is Japanese American albeit from South Central, I was shocked. It just goes to show you never can tell and we really are all the same underneath all the labels and stereotypes. We're just barely tamed animals who tend to weaponize every advance in technology.
This a good read and the writing is good. I didn't find the language a problem, but it's definitely R rated.
It does seem the writer wrote this almost like a screenplay for a buddy action flick - there are car chases, fights, shoot outs and wise cracks.
The writer says he loved Sherlock Holmes and this is basically Sherlock in the inner city - complete with a Dr. Watson tagging along for the ride. Once I began reading, I didn't want to stop. I would anticipate plenty of sequels and a movie someday.
The language is hopelessly obscene but is needed to make this novel believable.
After awhile you don't even notice the words. You are on to the next scene and trying to puzzle out what is going on here?
I thought the story is very cleverly done and don't we all get pulled into the circumstances and wish Wow why can't there exist a person like IQ? Read the story you will enjoy it.
Good read from a new author...Upset a bit by the repeated use of word"n---a", but, its the LA ghetto slang, I guess.
If you like Walter Moseley, and his Easy Rawlins series you will like this one.
The plot was engaging and the dialogue was snappy. I loved the Sherlockian detective work; I loved the modern-day, urban American setting. A lovely combination!