117 Cherry St. Seattle, Wa. 98104
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Caveat - As a statement of fact and to explain what I'm going to say below, you need to be aware that I've been going through a depressive episode. Not Jenny Lawson bad, where you hide under tables, but it's affecting my perceptions and abilities. I am aware of it, hence the caveat. If you suffer from the same illness, you'll get it. So.
I haven't finished Joe Ide's debut, IQ (Mulholland, $26.00) because - and this is going to sound weird but remember the caveat - his writing is TOO good. Seriously, every time I open the book, I get sucked into his gang-filled LA, and I'm pulling so hard for his protagonist, Isaiah Quintabe, that I find it hard to drag myself out. I'm not kidding when I say that this book is truly one of the best books I've read in a long, long time. But it is seriously gritty - not gore-laden, but oh so sad and brutally depressing about life when you're poor and trying to stay out of gang life - that I have to set it aside to regain my equilibrium. It's that engrossing. If IQ doesn't sweep awards, there's no justice. I will finish it, but I don't want you to miss out because I'm in a weird head space. Grab it now.— Fran
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.
About the Author
Joe Ide is of Japanese American descent. Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Joe's favorite books were the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. The idea that a person could face the world and vanquish his enemies with just his intelligence fascinated him. Joe went on to earn a graduate degree and had several careers before writing his debut novel, IQ, inspired by his early experiences and his love of Sherlock. Joe lives in Santa Monica, California. Visit his website at www.joeide.com