Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) is a detective for people who canâ€™t afford detectives, and remembers how it all began with the search for his brotherâ€™s killer.
As much as itâ€™s a crime thriller, IQ paints a picture of the community Isaiah Quintabe both lives in and serves.
We get to know the people in Isaiahâ€™s orbit; their histories, challenges, and ambitions.
IQ is intelligent, empathetic, and analytical. In another world, those attributes would get him an ivy league education followed by a cushy job and cushier mortgage. He could make a successful, comfortable life for himself.
But Isaiah is from the streets. In his world, intelligence makes people targets. College is a distant concept; not a reality. He lives in a world where a woman finds worth in the shapeliness of her butt and a man in how vicious his dog is.
Besides, Isaiah has his own unique morals and priorities, ones that donâ€™t always match everyone elseâ€™s.
So instead of accolades and fat paychecks, he solves cases for the people in his neighborhood on his own time in his own way based on his own sliding pay scale.
There are a few places where the main investigation of this book meanders. It seems to go on for a long time about dogs (admittedly an important plot point), and the obsession with Margaret Cho is a bit strange. The flashing back and forth is somewhat confusing.
But there are other tributaries that are well worth branching off. Itâ€™s interesting to hear about Isaiahâ€™s detective beginnings. And his devotion to Flaco adds a human aspect.
I can easily see IQ evolving into a new detective series. In fact, the book reads a bit like a set up, showing his beginnings and prepping us for the work Isaiah gets to do in the future.
One thing is for sure: if I ever find myself in need of a detective, Iâ€™d want to put IQ on the case.
Too bad he’s fictional.