Series: IQ #3.
Writer(s): Joe Ide.
Publisher: Mulholland Books.
Format: Paperback – Advance Review Copy.
Release Date: October 9th 2018.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
Previously on IQ:
IQ by Joe Ide.
Righteous by Joe Ide.
What happens when you share a cup of tea with a person at more than one occasion? You gain knowledge, knowledge on who they are and how they are with you. Through repetition you notice the little things that make them special, whether it is in a good light or not. It’s this process of getting to know the person that becomes valuable as you change in your way of behaving around that person and start to have a better idea of what you can or can’t expect of someone. That’s how I now feel about the protagonist of Joe Ide’s IQ detective series. Meeting Isaiah Quintabe, also known as IQ, was simply magical as his mannerism and understanding of people and the world reminds you of the world’s greatest detective Sherlock Holmes, but with a touch of singularity as he lives in East Long Beach and solves local crime without asking much in return. With a partner who hustles for a living, Dodson serves as his Watson and together they make an unforgettable and hilarious duo.
In this third adventure, Isaiah Quintabe finds himself facing the most dangerous threat yet and that is an understatement. Now that his services are known by just about everyone and their grandmother, his trusted sidekick looks to turn it all into an official private investigation business where Christmas sweaters and favours aren’t the main currency and reward for their crime-solving skills. As they kick things off quickly, IQ is also reached out by a young painter who wishes to track down her missing mother. While she has been an interest for IQ to fill the relationship gap that has been plaguing his life, it also so happens that her mother is linked to a paramilitary organization who have been involved in one of the most controversial event in history that took place in the Abu Ghraib prison. As the mess gets worse by the hour, Dodson is also tossed into an impending disaster as the past comes hunting him regarding a buried murder incident.
This felt like a return to form for IQ. While the first book was a wonderful hit, the second one vainly tried to dig itself out of a hole. But this third book quickly found a wonderful pace and delivered everything else, from character development to plot resolution, just as swiftly. What I liked is how much darker things got in this story as torture, both mental and physical, takes on a living form and becomes a lurking creature throughout the whole mystery. The fact that the stakes where much bigger and the situation much more dangerous for our local heroes made things so much more intriguing, and actually challenged IQ into being the problem-solver that I knew him to be. His deduction skills don’t only showcase his brain power, but also modulates according to his emotions. In fact, romance was such a huge deal in the previous book but it was never executed properly, but in Wrecked, the love interest is intriguing and the connection between the characters are far more authentic and natural.
The use of multiple point of views has been a rocky literary decision for Joe Ide, but it was slightly better done here and I believe it all came down to who’s point of view it was. In fact, the reason why it was such a struggle in the past is because some characters were simply less interesting than others and whenever those characters were given the spotlight, it simply disrupted the reading flow. In Wrecked, the multiple point of views is much more refined and gives us a better understanding of so many characters through past or current events. On top of that, the banter between a lot of these characters are a lot more enjoyable this time around, especially with Dodson and his ex-girlfriend Deronda who just have some of the best repartee in the game.
Wrecked has everything that explains why I enjoy my time with IQ. Clear and vivid story-telling, unique and lively characters, and clever resolutions. With the latest installment delivering a great story, I just can’t wait to see what else Joe Ide is able to deliver with IQ.
Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me a copy for review!