IQ by Joe Ide

1118_iq-coverTitle: IQ
Series: IQ #1
Author(s): Joe Ide
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Format: Paperback
Original Release Date: October 18th 2016
Pages: 352
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller
ISBN13: 9780316267731


It has been such a long time since I picked up a crime novel that was this ridiculously entertaining. Nominated for best first novel for the Edgar Award, Anthony Award and Strand Critics Award, IQ is Joe Ide’s introduction to a brand new unlicensed and underground detective. And this is no protagonist that you’ll soon forget.

Taking place in the heart of Los Angeles, near East Long Beach, Isaiah Quintabe, also referred to as IQ, takes it upon himself to solve the cases that the cops can’t or won’t touch. With rampant crimes rates, there is no case too troublesome for this man. His intelligence is remarkable and his reputation precedes him. Although his unique skill set proves to be undeniably useful in helping him gain an income under the table, it is his story that remains the biggest mystery. Who is he and where did he come from?

Author Joe Ide proves his love for Sherlock through Isaiah Quintabe. It isn’t hard to turn a corner and spot a rip-off of the world’s greatest detective nowadays, but with IQ we get one of the most authentic and original detective if all time. He is a true homage to Sir Conan Arthur Doyle’s creation and Joe Ide does a marvelous job in creating an original character without flirting with a Sherlock Holmes copycat. Isaiah Quintabe is really his own thing. Even the people he gets in trouble with make his character that much more fascinating.

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What truly helps this book stand out is its writing. Joe Ide somehow succeeds in reproducing a very ghetto-gangster language through so many of the secondary characters that the trashiness in the writing brings this book to life. I just can’t put more emphasis on the authenticity of it all, including the dialogue. There are so many instances where you’ll laugh out loud at the banter and face-palm at the stupidity of certain characters. At the end of the day, I’ve learned a couple of hilarious and somewhat inappropriate comebacks for when I’ll ever be in a sticky situation with some of my own more brutal friends. Really, the writing was just that much fun.

It is almost impossible to summarize what exactly goes on in IQ, but its hectic plot magically delivers an entertaining adventure. Told through multiple point of views, we follow Isaiah Quintabe as he solves a couple of cases left and right, some bigger than others. Slowly but surely we are absorbed into the cases he’s on as well as the different relationships that roam around the storyline. While Isaiah Quintabe remains the protagonist and most of the story revolves around his perspective, we are also gifted with an inside look into the lives of various different characters, whether it is a criminal or a person of interest. Oddly enough, discovering so many different point of views never ruined the experience. It only enhances it by giving us the background information on all these characters and their sometimes quite insane lives.

The plot is also interspersed with a flashback storyline revolving around Isaiah Quintabe when he was a teenager. That storyline adds depth to the character and gives us insight in his transformation and the things he’s been through in the past. For a debut novel, Joe Ide does a magnificent job in giving readers everything they need to finish IQ stunned and mesmerized. Righteous is the second book in this series released in October 2017 and is one sequel that I definitely plan on picking up in the near future.

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Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me a copy for review!

You can order your own copy now!

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Amazon (USA) – Amazon (Canada)Chapters IndigoBook Depository

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆

Have you read it yet? Do you plan to? What do you think about IQ?

Share your thoughts with me!

Till next time,

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44 comments

  • Brutal friends? Do they tie you in a bag and beat you with sticks? That sounds like fun! 😉

    It is good to hear that a quality Sherlock update works. Sometimes I feel like he’s become a trope that is poorly misused, so to see something handling it right, it is just nice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tie me? Beat me with sticks? That’s weak in their standards! 😛

      You’re definitely right on that. Poorly misused trope. I’ve tried a couple of books that was hugely inspired off Sherlock and often felt “meh” about them. I liked this one a lot. Person of colour, Los Angeles and his knowledge of the area plays a big role in his deductive skills and his partner is just as original. His name is Dodson too. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Interesting. I am not one that is really into crimenovels a lot, but I like the fact that it contains a bit of an unusual character, and the use of language you are describing here (seriously who doesn’t want some extra snappy comebacks from time to time lol😂😂), is something that’s intriguing to me. Maybe I will give this one a go at some point. As usual, another great review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really am bad for your TBR huh? 😛 Oh man, I occasionally.. actually more “rarely” than occasionally.. come across a book where the author delivers dialogues this well and have me laughing at the banter. I sometimes speak like certain characters in there with friends so it just made it that much more fun for me. Got myself some nice little weapons in my arsenal now! 😀 Thanks for reading, Michel. Hope you’ll enjoy this if you ever get the chance to read it, sir!

      Liked by 1 person

  • I have seen this book before but never paid any attention to it. It’s so great when you stumble upon a debut that makes you love it a lot. I like how you mentioned that the author uses ghetto style language and it doesn’t ruin the book and also the mystery around IQ himself. Excellent review, sir! Guess this one is going onto my TBR pile now 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha yes! The ghetto style language isn’t intense, it’s just that its authentic among some of the gangster characters and the author delivers it so well that its fun to read the back and forths between these characters. 😛 Thank you so much, Nikola. I hope you’ll enjoy it when you get the chance to try it out some day!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Gah! This sounds like an absolute must read. I love the idea of a truly unique detective (let’s face it – there are a lot circulating right now). I also cannot get over how authentic this felt for you. I feel like I could fly through this one. Sorry TBR, blame Lashaan 😂😉

    Liked by 1 person

  • Great review for this book Lashaan, and I’m really glad you enjoyed this one as well. 🙂 From the sounds of your review IQ has everything; great writing, great characters and it’s a fresh story as well which is an added bonus. I’m kind of intrigued by the comebacks you’ve picked up from this one, hopefully you’ll find the opportunity to use them at some point right! 😀
    Again great review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Beth! It really did have everything. And because I have really been swimming in A LOT of psychological thrillers with a female lead (I think psychological thrillers… only have females leads…), it was nice and refreshing to have a dude, and a dude that has Sherlockesque traits!!! 😀 Ohhh, you’d have to pick up the book to find out. Or get into a heated argument with me hahahaha 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Lashaaaaaaan… You freaking slay me every time… I mean, now I have to go and put this book on my TBR pile and you really make a good case that it’s a must read! Sounds absolutely fantastic! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahaha I know.. I am terrible! *evil laugh* It’s fun and was definitely a nice break from all the fantasy books I’ve been reading. 😀 Hope you’ll enjoy it when you get the chance to try it out, Liz. Thank you so much for reading!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 My pleasure… it’s always good to know people stop visiting your blog because you’re a threat to their TBR pile rather than that your reviews are not good 😀 lol… You rocked this one for sure 😉 Always happy to read your/Trang’s reviews 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hihihi 😀 I’m a sucker of Sherlock since I was a kid too. I’ve only just discovered Poirot with the Orient Express masterpiece (hopefully I’ll check out more Poirot this year). You totally have to try this one out though. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I did, Inge!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Poirot is a Belgian detective so I’m even a bigger fan than I would normally be.. but he deserves it too. I’ve not read many books but saw him a lot on tv, they found the perfect actor to impersonate him. I’ve added IQ to my Goodreads list and I hope to get my hands on the book soon!

        Liked by 1 person

  • It’s great to see this character standing as his own person, despite the similarities with Sherlock. It really would be a shame to get a copycat, when there’s so much that can still be explored and done in the originality department.
    So cool that the writing was awesome as well! I love it when a book can make me laugh out loud 🙂 Several points of view are always helpful in a story, especially if they revolve around crimes and that sort of adventures. I get frustrated when I only have access to one side of the story and it feels like authors sometimes keep the reader in the dark as a way to avoid giving too much away, which is just lazy. When it’s done well, it’s magical! But when it’s done wrong, it can really compromise the whole reading experience.
    Fantastic review as always, Lashaan! Super happy you enjoyed this one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, definitely. I like how this is one character that you can acknowledge for who he is instead of seeing him as another Sherlock (same for his partner).

      Yep, it’s really well-done in the humour department; insults, talking back, having an attitude, etc. The multiple point of views was well-done too. Usually this would make some readers want more info on the “villain” and then judge if the multiple POVs delivered in those terms, but Joe Ide does a nice job in making every character’s POV fun to read and give us insight in what’s going through their minds.

      Thank you so much for reading, Sophie! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  • My writing partner read this and we chatted about it for a little! You liked it a little more than she did… she said the ending was fuzzy. I thought it was very intriguing how the background of the character came together in such a reboot of Sherlock! You know I love your reviews Lashaan… I hope you pick up the sequel I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

    Liked by 1 person

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