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book review


By Joe Ide

Mulholland Books, 336 pages, $34

Call it what you will – ungraphic manga, comedy noir – but IQ, Joe Ide's debut featuring Isaiah Quintabe, was definitely original. It won the Bouchercon First Novel Award. Righteous, the second IQ novel, is every bit as solid and smart as the first. Isaiah is a local lad, raised in East Long Beach and dedicated to using his deductive skills to help the neighbours. But, like a knife in his soul, he wants to know what happened to his brother, Marcus, who was run down by a car and left dying in the road. Much of Isaiah's time, for the past eight years, has been spent searching or running from that death. Now, there's a clue. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, a wannabe DJ and her motocross champion boyfriend are in deep trouble. The two are gambling addicts and they owe a vig to a loanshark. Their wacked-out way to repay him ends up getting them on the wavelength of the Chinese Mafia. IQ's girlfriend asks him to save the pair from the Mafia and possibly themselves. Ide writes wild dialogue, creates totally original characters and makes me laugh out loud at two in the morning. What more can you ask?

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