Righteous

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

Book two in the "IQ" series by Joe Ide. I'm in for the long haul.

In the sorta-cliffhanger from the previous book, IQ (Isaiah Quintabe) discovered the car used to mow down his brother Marcus years ago. He uses his prodigious powers of deduction to arrive at a disturbing revelation: Marcus wasn't a victim of a random hit-and-run driver. Instead, this was a deliberate murder. Why? Marcus was a straight arrow, seemingly without enemies. Isaiah renews his investigation, and quickly finds disturbing evidence that Marcus might have been involved in some shady dealings.

But (like the previous book) this is a two-timeline novel. In the other timeline, IQ is implored by Marcus's old girlfriend, Sarita, to track down her half-sister Janine. Which is a little outside of Isaiah's wheelhouse; he usually just does freelance investigations for his neighbors for iffy compensation. But he's smitten with Sarita, and driven by those romantic notions, he's off to Vegas.

Janine's in trouble, though, largely of her own making. She's a talented DJ, but also a gambling addict. And her boyfriend Benny is too. And he's into a local leg-breaking loanshark for a bunch of money. Fortunately (for sufficiently weird values of "fortunately") Janine's dad is involved in a very sordid business of human trafficking. So he's got plenty of money, he just needs to be persuaded to cough it up. And so Janine…

Well, that's enough detail. Pretty soon, Isaiah finds himself enmeshed in Janine's problems, which escalate to conflicts with criminals of various races and ethnicities. (As an Amazon reviewer points out, there are no cops to intrude on numerous scenes of violence. Criminals don't call the cops, fine, but…)