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Wrecked: An IQ Novel


Wrecked: An IQ Novel

The name “Joe Ide” was added to my list of must-read authors within a very short time. Actually, it only took reading the first quarter of IQ, his debut novel, to put him there. “IQ” are the initials for Isaiah Quintabe, a twenty-something private investigator in South Central Los Angeles who has earned the nickname “the young Sherlock Holmes of the ’hood” as the result of his powers of observation and ability to ferret out the connections among seemingly disparate bits and pieces of information to solve a puzzle. IQ’s strong deductive talents and lack of business acumen combine to make this third entry in the series his best to date.

WRECKED begins with a prologue that actually occurs in the middle of the novel but serves the purpose of quickly introducing readers to the very dangerous guys who populate the majority of the book from beginning to end. What follows is relatively sedate at first. Isaiah is attracted to the winsome Grace but is too socially backward to even have a clue as to how to approach her. He puts that problem on the backburner (temporarily) as he forms a somewhat uneasy partnership with his good friend, Dodson. Isaiah’s East Long Beach detective agency is run haphazardly and informally. Cash is a rare thing; it is more of a barter of goods for his services. Dodson wants to turn that around for Isaiah, functioning as his business manager, collection agent and rainmaker. He’s a failure on all three fronts due to a variety of circumstances, though it’s hardly from lack of trying.

"This is a series that has earned and thus deserves your readership and support. Buy and read WRECKED, then go back and catch up on what you’ve been missing."

In any event, things collapse almost immediately when Grace approaches Isaiah and asks him to help find her missing mother, Sarah, who she hasn’t seen in over a decade. It turns out that Sarah has problems of her own. She has evidence that a private military contractor and his immediate employees committed war atrocities at a government-run prison and is attempting to blackmail the contractor. These are not people to take lightly, and they, in turn, threaten Grace if Sarah doesn’t back off. They have the means to do it, but are hampered by a number of factors, including their rough mixture of personalities, different goals and deep-seated animosity for their boss. Isaiah tries to find Sarah while protecting Grace, though she is no slouch when it comes to self-defense.

Meanwhile, Dodson is in trouble due to some past actions in which he, Isaiah and some of their friends engaged. Then, of course, there is the issue concerning the murderer of Isaiah’s brother, who is still walking free and won’t let Isaiah forget about it for a moment. Things get sorted out, and dramatically so, with some revelations near the end that may figure prominently in future installments of the series.

However, there are elements to WRECKED that indicate it might be the series finale. I certainly hope that’s not the case. Actually, that’s not a strong enough statement. I would lay down in front of someone’s car if that’s what it took to get more IQ stories. Isaiah is one of the more unique characters to come down the private investigator pike in quite a while, and the supporting cast here is first rate, as is the underlying story in each book.

This is a series that has earned and thus deserves your readership and support. Buy and read WRECKED, then go back and catch up on what you’ve been missing. You’ll thank me, but it's Ide --- and the yeoman’s work he does --- who deserves the platitudes.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on November 9, 2018

Wrecked: An IQ Novel
by Joe Ide

  • Publication Date: January 21, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books
  • ISBN-10: 0316509507
  • ISBN-13: 9780316509503