cover image Wrecked: An IQ Novel

Wrecked: An IQ Novel

Joe Ide. Mulholland, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-50951-0

Ide’s less than successful third mystery featuring Isaiah Quintabe (after 2017’s Righteous) focuses on action rather than deduction. Isaiah, the brilliant African-American PI known as IQ, helps his neighbors in Long Beach, Calif., with mostly mundane cases: “Store thefts, break-ins, lost children, wife-beaters, bullies, and conmen.” Artist Grace Monarova, an attractive white woman he has a crush on, asks him to trace her mother, Sarah, whom she hasn’t seen in a decade but knows is somewhere in L.A. Isaiah doesn’t know that Sarah disappeared right after becoming a murder suspect, or that she’s also the quarry of a vicious group of ex-military men, led by Stan Walczak, the founder of a global security firm. Walczak and his colleagues, who tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib but evaded prosecution, are after Sarah because she has threatened to release incriminating video of their abuses unless she’s paid off. The flash-forward prologue, in which Isaiah is abused by Walczak and his team, reduces suspense. Fans of Ide’s innovative take on a Sherlockian sleuth will hope for a return to form in the next book. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Oct.)