Hi Five is about crime and punishment in the ghetto.

Now, we’ve known all along that IQ, more formally known as Isaiah Quintabe, is supremely talented at making trouble for himself and practically everyone around him. But in Hi Five, the fourth of the novels in the series, he outdoes himself. In the space of 352 pages, Isaiah manages to infuriate a psychopathic arms dealer, two street gangs (the Lobos and the Cambodians), a score of gun-toting neo-Nazi thugs, and at least four of the alters in the menagerie of multiple personalities residing in the head of a very troubled young woman. They include some of the ugliest characters this side of Heinrich Himmler. Pretty much all these people want to murder Isaiah—or, rather, torture, dismember, and then murder him—and, at one time or another, most of them come close to doing so. It’s a bit much for one book, and far too much for IQ in this overblown tale of crime and punishment in the ghetto.

Hi Five (IQ #4) by Joe Ide (2020) 352 pages @@@ (3 out of 5)

A convincing picture of a neo-Nazi gang

Hi Five isn’t all bad, though. It’s got its moments. Author Joe Ide paints a very convincing picture of the neo-Nazi creeps who figure at the center of this story. And there are two intriguing love stories that play out in interesting ways, one of them involving IQ and his old girlfriend Grace, the other their friend TK (who owns an automobile wrecking yard) and Dodson’s straight-laced mother-in-law, a former middle-school vice principal. And there’s Dodson, too, the former gangster and drug pusher who teams up with IQ in his (unlicensed) private detective business. In his way, Dodson is just as interesting as IQ himself.

Goodbye to these tales of crime and punishment in the ghetto

Hi Five appears to be the last of the four IQ novels, as it ends with our hero, Isaiah Quintabe, literally riding off into the sunset. I enjoyed the first three books. After this overwrought display of gratuitous violence, I’m not looking forward to a fifth.

For additional reading

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