Review: Wrecked by Joe Ide

Title: Wrecked by Joe Ide
IQ Series Book Three
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In this outrageous novel from Joe Ide, “the best thing to happen to mystery writing in a very long time” (New York Times), the case of a young artist’s missing mother sets IQ on a collision course with his own Moriarty.

Isaiah Quintabe–IQ for short–has never been more successful, or felt more alone. A series of high-profile wins in his hometown of East Long Beach have made him so notorious that he can hardly go to the corner store without being recognized. Dodson, once his sidekick, is now his full-fledged partner, hell-bent on giving IQ’s PI business some real legitimacy: a Facebook page, and IQ’s promise to stop accepting Christmas sweaters and carpet cleanings in exchange for PI services.

So when a young painter approaches IQ for help tracking down her missing mother, it’s not just the case Isaiah’s looking for, but the human connection. And when his new confidant turns out to be connected to a dangerous paramilitary operation, IQ falls victim to a threat even a genius can’t see coming.

Waiting for Isaiah around every corner is Seb, the Oxford-educated African gangster who was responsible for the death of his brother, Marcus. Only, this time, Isaiah’s not alone. Joined by a new love interest and his familiar band of accomplices, IQ is back–and the adventures are better than ever.


Wrecked by Joe Ide is an action-packed mystery starring street smart and highly observant sleuth Isaiah “IQ” Quintabe and his somewhat trusty sidekick/partner Juanell Dodson. This third installment in the IQ series can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend the previous two novels as well.

IQ has been admiring struggling artist Grace Monarova from afar  and he is pleased but nervous when she requests a meeting. Although disappointed she is only interested in his investigative abilities, he nonetheless agrees to help find her missing mother, Sarah. Quickly delving into his new case, IQ is aware his new client is being less than forthcoming  but he soon figures out he and Grace are in serious danger. Unbeknownst to Grace or IQ, Sarah is blackmailing Stan Walczak, a former CIA agent who viciously tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Stan has cobbled together a group of disgraced veterans who worked for him at the prison and they are determined to find Sarah and neutralize the threat she poses to them. Will IQ find Sarah before Walczak and his henchman?

IQ’s newly acquired business partner and long time friend, Dodson, however is less than thrilled to discover IQ is not adhering to their newly formed business model. Instead of agreeing to be paid in actual money instead of bartered goods, IQ instead selects one of Grace’s paintings for payment. However, Dodson is embroiled in his own troubles when his past with his former business partner Deronda Simmons comes back to haunt them.  Years earlier,  IQ rescued Dodson and Deronda from their ill-thought out plan to rob a neighborhood thug, Junior. Someone divulged their secret to knife store owner Chester Babbitt who is in desperate need of funds and he uses this knowledge to blackmail Dodson into stealing money from Junior. In typical Dodson fashion, he attempts to handle this latest predicament without assistance from IQ.  But  will Dodson be able to  get out from underneath Babbitt’s demands on his own?

Wrecked is a fast-paced and energetic mystery that moves at a brisk pace. Isaiah is back on his home turf in this latest entry in the IQ series but his feelings for Grace leave him off balance. His investigation into Sarah’s whereabouts is interesting and he and Grace are both in grave danger throughout the novel. Dodson’s story arc is just as intriguing and readers will be quite satisfied by its clever resolution. Another gritty and adrenaline-fueled installment in Joe Ide’s IQ series that old and new fans are sure to enjoy.

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