Saturday, December 23, 2017

IQ, by Joe Ide (author), Sullivan Jones (narrator)

Hachette Audio, October 2016

Isaiah Quintabe is a young man, a high school dropout, living in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. He's very intelligent, extremely intelligent, and nicknamed IQ. In such a tough neighborhood, there are many cases that are just too small for the police to focus on, or even notice. If bullets aren't flying, the police are busy.

IQ has taken on the job of solving the cases the police don't bother with, or that his neighbors won't take to the police. Sometimes they pay him good money. Sometimes it's just some money. A lot of the time, it's just baked goods, because they can't afford anything else. The money matters when he can get it, though, because IQ is saving for something important. He's haunted by something he feels great guilt over, but at least at first. we have no idea what.

He's also haunted by the memory, or perhaps the ghost, of his brother, Marcus, who acts as his conscience.

His latest case is a rap star who believes, with good reason, that someone is trying to kill him. He's not going to take it to the police, but IQ made the news recently for catching a pedophile, and the rap star's people have some connection to a not exactly a friend of Isaiah's called Datsun--or at least that's how I heard it on the audio. If you've read the print version, please, feel free to let me know if I heard wrong.

Datsun takes IQ/Isaiah to meet the rap star, and soon Isaiah is caught up in a confusing mishmash of aggrieved ex-wives, staff and hangers-on who resent Isaiah's being called in, a recording mogul who wants Isaiah to tell the rap star he's now safe so that he'll come to the studio and make his record.

He's also looking for a dog that looks like a pit bull in everything except its gigantic size, over a hundred pounds, and was intended to be the murder weapon. And of course, also the dog's owner and trainer.

He's got too many suspects with not enough motive for who is behind the murder attempt, and nothing but video of a big, black dog, and a man completely concealed as the dog's handler and the actual assassin.

Along the way, we learn about Isaiah's background, why his brother is dead, what the guilt is that haunts, him, and his ties to Datsun and others who don't at all share his values.

It's gritty L.A. street life meets Holmesian detection and crime solving. I nearly bounced of it at the beginning, and I'm glad I kept reading anyway. This is good, absorbing story, and I'm looking forward to more.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.