Mysterious Book Report No. 361

by John Dwaine McKenna

One of the most original, interesting and compelling characters in contemporary crime fiction is an unlicensed private eye named Isaiah Quintabe . . . “IQ” to his friends, clients and legions of readers.  He’s the creation of award-winning California novelist Joe Ide, who’s just come out with his third—and best, in our opinion—installment of IQ’s adventures in his East Long Beach neighborhood, where “People knew if you were getting food stamps  and that  your husband was messing around with a half-wit barmaid . . .”

Wrecked, (Mulholland Books, $27.00, 340 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-50951-0), finds IQ riding a crest of popularity amidst a number of successfully solved cases.  He’s now so well known and recognized in the ‘hood that he’s greeted by well-wishers and people with potential cases . . . as well as those who bear grudges against him . . . everywhere he goes, but he still feels isolated and alone.  Dodson, his childhood friend and gangsta wannabe, wiggles himself into a partnership with the beleaguered PI, vowing to put their newly-formed agency on a paying basis, with a website, business cards and fees.  No more knitted sweaters or carpet cleaning services in exchange for IQ’s sleuthing talents.  From now on, according to Dodson, it’s cash on the barrelhead . . . or no services rendered.

But when a young painter named Grace enlists Isaiah to find her mother, who’s been missing for ten years, he accepts one of her paintings as payment . . . and puts all of them in the crosshairs of a multi-national paramilitary outfit with ties to the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, 17,000 employees worldwide and “Enough assets to take over France,” in IQ’s words.  And, as if that’s not enough to deal with, there’s Zeb, the Zimbabwean gangster who’s responsible for the death of Isaiah’s brother, the thug called Junior, and the murderous brutha named Stokley, who all want to see IQ’s head on a platter.  It may turn out to be too much for even a genius to deal with!  But hey! Don’t just take our word for it, get a copy of Wrecked for yourself, and see why Joe Ide is already becoming such a well-respected talent in the crime fiction field.  You’ll have a ton of fun, laugh your butt off and become an instant fan of a guy the MBR predicts will be a monster, who brings hit novel after hit, after hit.  You heard it here first!


John Dwaine McKenna