IQ, a novel by author Joe Ide, is not a new book. In fact, its copyright is 2016, and it’s the first in a series of five books. Still, it was new to me. It was suggested in a column on Crime Reads, a book feed that I get daily. The protagonist intrigued me, and I grabbed the book from the library.
Isaiah Quintabe is a young Black man who has lived in his poor Los Angeles neighborhood his whole life. His neighborhood is poor and crime-filled. However, IQ is doing fine until his brother — who has taken care of him for much of his life — is killed by a hit-and-run driver. Isaiah is not your run-of-the-mill teen as he possesses the IQ of a genious.
Nevertheless, after his brother is killed, IQ quits high school and lives off of low-paying jobs. He is barely making ends meet, and is forced to take in a boarder — another Black man from the ‘hood, who convinces Isaiah that he can make a living by using his intellect to commit the perfect crimes.
Eventually, IQ starts using his Sherlock Holmsian intelligence to give back to the community by solving crimes. He doesn’t make much money; in fact, he is often paid with casseroles or used tires.
Isaiah is hired by a famous rapper whose life is being threatened. This is the case of IQ’s life. Will he be able to determine who is threatening the famous singer?
Isaiah is a flawed character, but one with a good heart. As the book progresses and readers see how he can see and understand things they don’t, he becomes endearing.
I will admit that after somewhat of a dry spell when it came to books, this one grabbed my attention from the first word. I couldn’t put the book down, and read it in a couple of days,
I can’t wait to read the next four novels.