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The WSJ's Tom Nolan put the fourth novel in Joe Ide's "IQ" series on his Best Mysteries of 2020 list. But you know how it is with series: entry number N can contain references to entries N-1, N-2, …, 1. So I decided to start with number one instead of diving into 4.

Fortunately, Amazon had a sale on the Kindle version: a mere $1.99. A very good deal, no longer available!

An excellent deal, in fact. And it worked: definitely going to read more Joe Ide.

The narrative is a little tricky: two timelines, one in 2005-6, the second in 2013. The earlier is essentially the "origin story" of Isaiah Quintabe (IQ). His life is knocked off course by unspeakable tragedy, but also reveals his undeniable talents for observation and Sherlockian deductive reasoning. (The book claims it's really "inductive" reasoning.)

Unfortunately, IQ's circumstances lead him to partner up with drug-dealing Dodson, and (eventually) to a life of major burglary. This doesn't turn out well; horrifically in fact. But…

In the 2013 timeline, IQ and Dodson have gone straight, doing odd detective-type jobs (unlicensed) for folks in the hood. That doesn't pay as well as they'd like. But IQ's talents become known to a famous rapper, Cal. Someone's trying to kill Cal, and the initial attempt was unique: a giant pit bull sent to his estate to rip him to shreds. Who's behind this nefarious scheme?

The book is hilarious in parts, moving and somber in others. Pulse-pounding action at times. It's a super button-pusher (Kindlese for "page turner").

And a hook for the next book in the series right at the end. I was in already, Joe!

Last Modified 2021-04-30 6:29 AM EDT