Hi Five by Joe Ide: A review

I decided to give Joe Ide another chance after being somewhat disappointed by Righteous which I read a couple of months ago. I'm glad I did. This one was a definite improvement. It had an interesting plot and well-developed characters and Ide's protagonist, Isaiah Quintabe (IQ), comes into clearer focus in this one.

Angus Byrne is one of the biggest, maybe the biggest, dealers in illicit arms sales on the West Coast, and his right-hand man has just been murdered, mowed down while in Angus's daughter Christiana's boutique shop where he was having a suit fitted. There seem to be few clues and the police are focusing on Christiana as their number one suspect.

This is an unacceptable situation for Angus for several reasons; first and foremost because she is his daughter. He is desperate to have her cleared and free of the police's gaze because she really could not withstand such investigation. Christiana was abused as a child and the result is that now she suffers from multiple personality disorder. She is inhabited by at least five distinct personalities. She was present and a witness at the murder, but the first question is, which personality was actually there and what did she or he see?

Angus is not content to simply approach IQ and hire him to investigate; instead, he must coerce him. IQ has a new girlfriend who is a talented violinist. Angus threatens to crush her hands so badly she'll never be able to play again unless IQ can clear his daughter.

Isaiah has no doubt that the old man will fulfill his threat and he sets about trying to find out what really happened at the shop and hoping that that will prove Christiana innocent. At first, he doesn't understand that she has multiple personalities. When he does come to understand that, he is flummoxed. How will he ever be able to even interview all the personalities to find out which one was there and what she or he saw?

In his desperation, he calls on his old friend and former partner, Dodson, to help out. Then, to complicate matters even further, Grace, the love of Isaiah's life, returns to town from Arizona. And it turns out that Angus is deeply into the white supremacist movement and he and his followers are constantly at war with the Hispanic and Asian gangs, as well as the African-American gangs in the East Long Beach area of Los Angeles. Why then did he go out of his way to hire a black detective to clear his daughter? Maybe there were no lily whites available or maybe IQ is the best and Angus only hires the best.

Joe Ide tells a complicated tale, maybe even a little more complicated than it had to be, but he hooked me early on and I was engrossed right up to the conclusion. Yes, this one was definitely better than Righteous.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 


  1. Yeah this one sure does sound complicated but not dull!

    1. It was a worthwhile read and quite different from most of what I've been reading lately.

  2. I have to get to this series. Set in my town with all that entails, the complicated relationships, etc. I too am glad you gave Joe Ide another chance.


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