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.


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.

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

You can order your own copy now!


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


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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