Man, this cover though, right? I love it. I’ve been looking forward to IQ since I first heard about it a few months ago. Here’s the publisher’s description:
A resident of one of LA’s toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores.
East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood’s high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can’t or won’t touch.
They call him IQ. He’s a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. He charges his clients whatever they can afford, which might be a set of tires or a homemade casserole. To get by, he’s forced to take on clients that can pay.
This time, it’s a rap mogul whose life is in danger. As Isaiah investigates, he encounters a vengeful ex-wife, a crew of notorious cutthroats, a monstrous attack dog, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. The deeper Isaiah digs, the more far reaching and dangerous the case becomes.
So my brain really focused on the “genius kid solves cases that the police ignore” bit and forgot the part about this being about him working on a rapper’s case, so I was a tad disappointed that the focus wasn’t more on IQ using his Sherlock-like intellect to solve cases for the city’s downtrodden, but that was my own fault. Outside of that, I really enjoyed this.
The book bounces back and forth between IQ’s teenage years when he used his intelligence in less honest ways, and the current day where he’s trying to figure out who set a crazy hitman out to kill a failing rap star. A lot of the book, especially in the flashbacks, is dedicated to explaining how IQ grew up and what motivates him to solve cases for people today. There’s a wide range of emotions here too – my heart hurt for some of the things IQ went through, but then I literally had to pause reading to laugh out loud at some other parts, like the summary of ridiculous fights between the rapper and his ex-wife.
Honestly, I kind of had a good idea early on who was going to be the bad guy and I was right, but this was still a fun read. I hope there are more to come, because I want to see more of IQ’s smartypants self and I’d love to see future books delve more into the social justice side of his cases. I have a feeling that IQ has the potential to evolve into a hero-for-hire kind of mystery series and I would be all over that.