Published by Mulholland Books on October 18, 2016
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A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores.
East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch.
They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. He charges his clients whatever they can afford, which might be a set of tires or a homemade casserole. To get by, he's forced to take on clients that can pay. This time, it's a rap mogul whose life is in danger. As Isaiah investigates, he encounters a vengeful ex-wife, a crew of notorious cutthroats, a monstrous attack dog, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. The deeper Isaiah digs, the more far reaching and dangerous the case becomes.
Isaiah Quintabe – IQ – is Sherlock, if Sherlock was a young black man (at least I think he’s black) in modern-day LA who actually cares about the people in his community. He’s brilliant, uncorruptible, and determined. He understands people and their feelings and motives. He does his research and plans ahead as well as he can. He finds people and things, deals with cases the police can’t or won’t. Problem is, he will only take what people can afford in payment, so sometimes it’s money, but more often it’s muffins or a chicken. Isaiah’s side-kick, Dodson, is an interesting guy. He’s cocky and more likely to play the angles than Isaiah. Not exactly a Watson, but help nonetheless.He’s take the case of a rapper in order to make some money. I though the mystery was well-done. There were several suspects and the hit man was a nasty piece of work. I didn’t guess who the would-be killer was, but the clues worked out nicely, and I enjoyed how all the characters fit together.
The story flips between now and the past. So while Isaiah’s solving the mystery, we learn about his childhood, who his hero was, why he never graduated high school. We see the beginning of his partnership/friendship with Dodson. We understand why he became the vigilante detective, so to speak.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It’s a smart book with a swagger to it, just like its characters.