IQ, Joe Ide, 2016

In this debut novel, Ide, a Japanese-American who grew up in  LA introduces us to a fantastic cast of characters:  Isaiah Quitabe, his brother Marcus, his sidekick Dodson, and a host of rappers, gangstahs, and the memorable assassin Skip and his dog Goliath.  The action is in Long Beach and East LA where Marcus is killed in a hit-and-run providing one plot element and a second plot element when IQ is hired to figure out who is trying to kill Cal, aka Black the Knife, a star rapper who is rapidly going down the drain with drugs, alcohol, depression, and self-destructive behavior.  IQ is a young kid with a genius IQ and the need to give back to the community by solving crimes and situations for the locals.  A taut and well written story once you get used to the dialogue.  Looking forward to IQ’s next adventure.