Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Joe Ide
Mulholland Books, October 2018
339 pages
ISBN: 0316509510

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Well, he's back, for the third time in three years. Isaiah Quintabe, (IQ for short), Joe Ide's creation, appears in WRECKED. Isaiah has grown considerably since his first appearance in IQ, the novel, in 2016. The chip is off his shoulder, he is less righteous, but he is still taking cases from his neighborhood in East LA on a pay-what-you-can basis. Ruffin, his pitbull, still has no respect for him and his social skills leave a great deal to be desired.

Enter Grace, a beautiful woman to whom Isaiah is immediately drawn. As socially ill-at-ease as Isaiah, she still needs his help in finding her mother who abandoned her when she was fifteen, ten years ago. Of course, all she has to pay for his services is one of her paintings, abstracts that Isaiah accepts without "getting" it at all.

Dodson, now his official partner, goes ballistic when he hears about another very dangerous case with nothing but a muddy canvas as payment. And dangerous it is. The bad guys are the worst Joe Ide has created. Four men and a woman were involved back during the Iraq war as torturers at the infamous Abu Graib prison and now are trying to find some photos that are floating around of their misdeeds back then.

These guys are masters at their art. The novel opens with them "enhanced-interrogating" someone they call Sneaky Pete, while reminiscing about their Abu Ghraib days. Even noir lovers be warned that the violence throughout WRECKED was at times too much for me. But the novel is redeemed by Ide's tongue-in-cheek approach. He can make me laugh out loud. His characters are both horrible and funny at the same time.

The woman is a drunk, all five hate their boss almost more than Isaiah and Grace, one hates torturing and another just loves it. If not for the horror, they would resemble early filmland's gang, the Little Rascals.

And then there is Junior, a gangsta with a vocabulary of his own design. Upon meeting Isaiah, Junior says, “Now I suggest you exit my domicile while you still have the capacity to relocate your ass on outta here.” Just so you know, Junior shrugs off this mortal coil before WRECKED is over.

Isaiah is the Sherlock Holmes of East LA, outsmarting the enemy at every turn with his reasoning power. He has the trunk of his car full of homemade weapons, including a flamethrower made out of a barbeque lighter that figures prominently in the final take down. That's after a nightmarish evening at Burning Man.

But does Isaiah get the girl? Is he capable of getting the girl? Is she capable of getting got? And will he ever train Ruffin, his dog? I will leave that up to you, the reader, to find out. I would guess that a fourth IQ novel is in the works. I can't wait!

§ Susan Hoover is a playwright, independent producer and retired college English teacher. She lives in Nova Scotia.

Reviewed by Susan Hoover, October 2018

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]