Wrecked by Joe Ide: A review

This is the third in Joe Ide's IQ (Isaiah Quintabe) mysteries. I accidentally read it out of order but it didn't inhibit my enjoyment of the book. In fact, this is my favorite of the IQ books I've read so far.

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

Comments

  1. The plot sounds like it is involved. You mentioned that there was a lot of action. Such a ploy that they s also action filled can make for a really good story if an author is skilled.

    I am a fanatic for reading series in order so I would always go in sequence.

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    1. I am normally fanatical about such things, too, which is why I was quite annoyed when I realized I had read the last two books of this series out of order. But, in the end, I found it really didn't make any difference.

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  2. I have not read anything by Joe Ide before. Wrecked sounds like a great novel with a lot of action... I'll add Joe Ide to my list of authors to read in the future.

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    1. His character, IQ, is quite interesting and sympathetic. He has an appealing backstory that makes him so.

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  3. So this is a series you can read out of order? I really have a pet peeve where I NEED to read things in order ...

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    1. Well, I normally would have read in order but got out of order this time. As I said, that turned out to be fine!

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  4. Thanks for keeping us up to date on Joe Ide. I anticipate getting to him sometime soon.

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    1. I think you might enjoy him, if for no other reason than the LA connection.

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  5. It would drive me bonkers to read a series out of order - I accidentally did that with the Force of Nature book recently, and even though the stories are stand-alones, it bothers me personally!

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    1. Often it does make a difference because each book builds on the last one, but I was surprised to find that it really didn't bother me in this instance.

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    2. Right, that's exactly what I mean. But if there is little connection between the stories then it probably is not as big a deal.

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