Joe Ide

Book - 2021

"Isaiah Quintabe is no longer IQ, the genius of East Long Beach; instead, he's a man on the road and on the run, hiding in a small Northern California town when his room is broken into by a desperate young man on the trail of the state's most prolific serial killer. His old partner, Juanell Dodson, must go straight or lose his wife and child. His devil's bargain? An internship at an LA advertising agency, where it turns out the rules of the street have simply been dressed in casual, but where the aging company's fortunes may well rest on their ability to attract a younger demographic. Dodson - "the hustler's hustler" - just may be the right man for the job"--Publisher.

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Ide, Joe. IQ novel ; 5.
Detective and mystery fiction
Thrillers (Fiction)
Psychological fiction
New York : Mulholland Books, Little, Brown and Company 2021.
First edition
Item Description
Sequel to: Hi five.
Physical Description
323 pages ; 25 cm
Main Author
Joe Ide (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Throughout the previous four novels in his Isaiah "IQ" Quintabe series, Ide has displayed a rare ability to mix dark comedy and gut-churning drama (think Thomas Perry), sometimes leaning toward the former (IQ, 2016), other times the latter (Hi Five, 2020). Here he strikes the balance straight down the middle, juggling between Isaiah's fraught attempt to break away from his peril-plagued career as a quixotic investigator and his best friend Dodson's parallel effort to save his marriage by transforming himself from a hustler on the streets of East Long Beach to, of all things, a marketing trainee in the straight world. Ide sets us up to expect Dodson's foray into button-down business culture to deliver the comedy, leaving all the gut-churning for Isaiah's journey, which takes him to a small town in the woods near Lake Tahoe, where he finds not peace but more hapless souls in need of help (serial killers lurk). On the surface, our expectations are met in both cases, but mixmaster Ide's compulsion to blend light and dark (Isaiah's confrontation with the serial killers, while gruesome, takes the form of "a slapstick movie shot in a burning insane asylum") affects the two plots in surprising ways, again producing an emotion-rich form of character-driven tragicomedy, but one in which peril forever loiters in the shallows.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Edgar finalist Ide's lackluster fifth novel featuring Isaiah "IQ" Quintabe (after 2020's Hi Five) finds Isaiah driving north from his home in Long Beach, Calif., where he's had enough of dealing with violent crime. He stops in Coronado Springs, a town near Lake Tahoe, where he ends up renting a one-bedroom house. His peaceful existence is interrupted by Billy Sorensen, an escapee from a neuro-psych facility who breaks into his house to steal food. Billy claims that a serial killer, known as AMSAK because his 17 victims were dumped near the Sacramento and American rivers, is headed to Coronado Springs--and that he knows AMSAK's identity. Reluctantly, Isaiah investigates. Lengthy unrelated sections involving supporting characters, such as a person whose successful business is threatened by a blackmailer, only further mar the uninspired cat and mouse plot. Isaiah has little opportunity to display his considerable intellectual gifts, and at one point he only avoids serious injury by the tired contrivance of slipping on some dirt. Series fans can only hope for a return to form next time out. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM Partners. (Feb.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

The fifth installment of Ide's "IQ" series (after Hi Five) has "genius detective" Isaiah Quintabe fleeing his home in East Long Beach, CA. Suffering from the effects of his dangerous job and hoping to escape his PTSD and the price on his head, Isaiah takes cover in a small Northern California town. Trouble finds him anyway in the forms of Ava and Billy, both attempting to solve the murder of Ava's twin, Hannah. Juanell Dodson, "the hustler's hustler" and Isaiah's best friend, has been given an ultimatum--go straight and get a job or lose his family. After a painful makeover, Dodson joins the team of an advertising firm and discovers he's not as out of place as he expected. This title also features a flood of additional characters, including a former stripper fighting for custody of her son, a struggling artist finally being seen for her talent, and two brothers who bring destruction wherever they go. VERDICT Readers will need to pay careful attention to keep all of Ide's players straight, but the gritty action and sardonic humor will be sure to grab all IQ fans. Libraries with the previous four installments will want this one.--Carmen Clark, Elkhart P.L., IN

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

This fifth outing for unlicensed private investigator Isaiah Quintabe is all over the California map. Learning that he's being hunted by paroled hit man Magnus Vestergard, aka Skip Hanson, IQ decides he's had enough of criminal investigation. Abandoning his partner, painter Grace, he high-tails it out of Long Beach and ends up in Coronado Springs, where he rents a place and waits for the clouds to pass by. But his new home is even more crime-ridden than his old. Billy Sorensen, who's escaped from a psychiatric institute, breaks into Isaiah's house in search of food that can sustain him while he looks for Ava Bouchard, the sympathetic friend whose twin sister, Hannah, was killed by AMSAK, a serial murderer who earned his name by dumping the bodies of 17 women near the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers. AMSAK, it turns out, is still very much in the picture--but he'll have to compete for attention with Grace's friend Deronda, a food-truck empress whose long-ago one-night stand, Wells Fargo banker Bobby James, demands half her business as the price of not pursuing joint custody of their 4-year-old son, and with Isaiah's own criminal friend Juanell Dodson, whose unpaid internship in an advertising agency, a position he never sought, will uncover unsuspected depths in both the agency and himself. The criminal plot is a violent, overgalvanized shambles; the main attraction here is the racially inclusive three-ring circus Ide organizes around it in a series of overlapping, endlessly expanding circles. Overstuffed, riotous, and exhausting in both good ways and bad. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.