Publisher: Mulholland Books.
Format: Advance Review Copy.
Release Date: January 28th, 2020.
Genre(s): Mystery, Crime.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
Previously in the IQ series:
IQ by Joe Ide.
Righteous by Joe Ide.
Wrecked by Joe Ide.
Man is unreliable. We might believe that there is no creature with a better mind to gobble up knowledge and spread it to others than humans but the mind itself is as tricky as it can ever get. Not only are our cognitive processes so complex and flawed that it can be tricked to believe things that do not exist but our memory is a leaking tank, all this without taking into account mental disorders. Now imagine if your mind wasn’t simply a single entity but one with multiple compartments. Imagine if each compartment wasn’t always accessible as well. Imagine if you were not one person but five. Author Joe Ide continues to expand his detective series with a fourth installment that presents his Afro-American protagonist with a rare and complex situation where the only witness to a crime is actually five.
What is Hi Five about? Private investigator Isaiah Quintabe, also known as IQ, returns to the scene, this time unwillingly, as Angus Byrne, the biggest arms dealer on the West Coast, blackmails him into solving a case involving his daughter Christiana who remains the sole witness to the shooting murder of an employee of her father. Unfortunately for Isaiah Quintabe, Angus Byrne wouldn’t mind threatening the life of his new girlfriend if he doesn’t solve this case as soon as possible. The tricky part in all this is that Christiana isn’t like any other woman as he discovers that she has multiple personalities, specifically five: Pearl, Bertrand, Marlene, Jasper, and Christiana. With each of them having exclusive knowledge on the events that unfolded in her very shop, it’s up to Isaiah Quintabe and his buddies to find the answers they so desperately seek before it’s too late.
Cleverly putting a character with multiple personalities at the center of the mystery was a bold move that made for an exciting and entertaining adventure. Author Joe Ide succeeds in turning Christiana’s character into a living enigma and masterfully conveys her transformation from one alter to another throughout the story. Although Isaiah Quintabe might be one of the smartest dudes in East Long Beach, California, he’s quickly caught off guard by this situation but doesn’t shy away from his witty and versatile ways as he shows his cleverness throughout this quagmire. Although the multiple personalities do bring into play a much more comedic tone to the story, the story isn’t hollow of heavier themes, especially those that look into characters’ relationships and their tough decision-making predicaments.
With both familiar and new characters tossed into the mix, the story doesn’t, however, revolve only around this mystery as it also incorporates multiple subplots that help deepen the characterization of countless characters—although this might also be its greatest flaw as it struggles to maintain a truly addictive pacing. Amongst these personas is Isaiah Quitabe’s once-sidekick Juanell Dodson—who used to play a role akin to Watson for Sherlock—who goes through a tough time as an individual within society and as a family man. One of the greatest fortes of this series does lie in the banter that is hilarious beyond understanding and is often circumscribed within a hood-level dialect. It would be a lie to not mention the number of times these characters would zestfully disrespect each other without any restraints. To put it simply, author Joe Ide draws his characters with near perfection for his detective series and makes them somehow relatable despite their peculiar socioeconomic statuses.
Hi Five is an engrossing mystery with new and old faces set in author Joe Ide’s IQ detective series and focuses on a witness with multiple personalities.
Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me a copy for review!