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'Joe Ide is the best new discovery I've come across in a long time. And Isaiah Quintabe is the kind of sleuth not seen on the mystery landscape before.' Michael Connelly
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA JOHN CREASEY (new blood) DAGGER
THE TIMES CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH: 'Full of humour, originality and high-quality writing'
East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, the elderly are being mugged, children go missing. But word has spread: if you've got a case the police can't - or won't - touch, Isaiah Quintabe will help you out.
They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. His clients pay him whatever they can afford, a new set of tyres or some homemade muffins. But now he needs a client who can pay. And the only way to that client is through a jive-talking, low-life drug dealer he thought he'd left behind. Then there's the case itself. A drug-addled rap star surrounded by a crew of flunkies who believes his life is in danger; and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. If he solves this case, IQ can put right a mistake he made long ago. If not it won't just be the hit man coming after him ...
WINNER of the ANTHONY AWARD for Best Debut, the SHAMUS AWARD for BEST FIRST P.I. NOVEL. the MACAVITY AWARD for Best First Novel; SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 EDGAR AWARD and STRAND CRITICS AWARD.
Ide successfully makes his detective's brilliance plausible in this gripping and moving debut, which makes effective use of flashbacks. Isaiah Quintabe, whose reasoning scores on the Stanford-Binet intelligence test are near genius levels, has his life upended while in high school in East Long Beach, Calif. His beloved older brother and surrogate parent, Marcus, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, a tragedy that Isaiah witnesses firsthand. Isaiah, who becomes known by his initials because of his intellect, devotes himself to trying to identify the man who killed Marcus. With money running short, Isaiah takes in an unlikely roommate, schoolmate Juanell Dodson, who leads him into a life of crime. Eventually, Isaiah finds his calling on the right side of the law. He develops a reputation as an expert problem solver and takes on a high-profile assignment, to identify the person who ordered an unusual hit on Calvin Wright, the rapper known as Black the Knife. The plot has some over-the-top aspects, but overall the concept works.