Righteous (IQ #2) by Joe Ide
@@@@ (4 out of 5)
Isaiah Quintabe, known as IQ, was a brilliant 17-year-old high school student in East Long Beach on the path to Harvard when his beloved older brother, Marcus, was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Marcus’ death upended IQ’s life. At first, he turned to burglary, then gravitated toward using his extraordinary analytical powers to help friends and acquaintances in the ghetto solve the problems facing them. “He stopped the guy that was going to rape Néstor’s daughter, and he caught the guy that was setting the fires and he got the school’s computers back, and he busted the cops so they had to let Jorge go.” IQ’s string of successes caught the attention of the local news media. Thus he came to be the famous ghetto detective everyone turns to when problems come up.
Now, in Righteous, Joe Ide‘s second IQ novel, it’s eight years after Marcus’ death. The ghetto detective finally comes across a clue to the killing. In the auto wrecking yard where he worked in years past, the car that killed his brother turns up. The discovery triggers a frenzied investigation that brings IQ into dangerous confrontations with several leaders of a powerful local gang. Shortly afterward, Marcus’ old girlfriend, Sarita Van, calls to ask him to rescue her sister from a merciless loanshark in Las Vegas. Sarita’s younger sister is a gambling addict, and she and her idiotic boyfriend have gambled themselves into a debt they can never repay.
IQ’s twin investigations in Righteous bring him into conflict with the loan shark and his seven-foot-tall enforcer, the violent gang that terrorizes East Long Beach, and a Chinese triad‘s enormous human-trafficking operation. In the end, IQ solves the mystery of his brother’s death and, of course, saves the girl as well. All the fun lies in getting there. The tale is suspenseful, a successful thriller.
If you enjoy reading detective novels, check out my post, 15 great suspenseful detective novels (plus 23 others). You might also be interested in 48 excellent mystery and thriller series.