Wrecked by Joe Ide: A review
IQ's fame in East Long Beach has grown considerably. He has solved some high profile cases and now he is recognized wherever he goes. But he still takes the small neighborhood mysteries as well and solves them in return for bartered products or services. This does not sit well with his new partner, Dodson, his friend and former sidekick in some less salubrious past activities. Dodson has turned a page in his life. He has a wife and a new baby and he needs to be able to support them and to have the respect of the community. His demand as a partner is to be in charge of finances and to make sure that all cases in the future are accepted on a cash basis. IQ agrees but his heart really isn't in it. People in the neighborhood still expect to be able to barter with him and he's never going to turn them down.
Isaiah is approached by a young woman named Grace who wants to hire him to find her missing mother whom she hasn't seen in years. Grace is a painter and she offers Isaiah his choice of her paintings in return for his PI services. IQ knows nothing about art but he knows what he likes and it isn't Grace's abstract paintings. But he does like Grace. In fact, he likes her very, very much and wants an excuse to spend time with her, so, of course, he takes the case. Dodson fumes.
Grace's mother, Sarah, it turns out, is playing a dangerous game of her own. She is a fugitive from justice, wanted for the murder of a man who was presumed responsible for the death of her husband. Her husband had been a soldier in the Iraq war and he spent time at Abu Ghraib. There he took or at least came in possession of some disgusting and incriminating pictures of the torture that took place there. The chief torturer and star of the tapes is a former CIA sadist who is now the multimillionaire owner of a security business and some of the other torturers featured in the pictures now work for him. Sarah has those tapes and is blackmailing the man and threatening to make the pictures public if he doesn't pay her a million dollars.
The narrative starts with a bang with IQ in the clutches of the torturers and after that introduction, it goes into the backstory of just how that came to happen. The story is one of nonstop action as IQ and Dodson try to find Sarah and at the same time handle some other lower-profile cases. Meanwhile, IQ is also still trying to find a way to bring justice to the killer of his brother. It all makes for an intense and colorful tale with characters that are well-described and seem altogether believable. I was all in pulling for this modern-day Sherlock and Watson.
Joe Ide is a fine writer and he seems to have a winner in this series. I look forward to reading more in the future.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars