cover image Fixit: An IQ Novel

Fixit: An IQ Novel

Joe Ide. Mulholland, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-53108-5

Ide’s sixth crime thriller featuring genius Isaiah “IQ” Quintabe (after 2021’s Smoke) disappoints in its shift from deduction to full-tilt action. IQ, an “underground PI” who helps those in need “find justice when the police wouldn’t or couldn’t,” now struggles with PTSD from his years in the field. His desire to retire from catching bad guys is thwarted when hit man Skip Hanson, whom IQ sent to prison, abducts IQ’s girlfriend, Grace, and sends the PI taunting messages about her whereabouts and condition. The bulk of the plot centers on IQ’s efforts to free Grace, but Ide tosses in another villain eager for revenge on the investigator, which dilutes, rather than increases, the tension, given this new villain’s general lack of intelligence and motives that aren’t all that different from Hanson’s. Awkward prose (Grace is described as having “will” that’s “equivalent to the Grand Canyon”) and plot contrivances don’t help. IQ is a strong character, but the PI’s adventures feel like they’re running out of steam. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (May)