23) IQ by Joe Ide
This crime thriller has been tucked away in the depths of the Kindle for a while: I bought it having read a review (I forget where) that basically said it showcased the arrival of a hip-hop Sherlock Homes for the 21st century . Which, at worst, sounded like it might be entertaining and, at best, like it might be amazing.
Well, I’m afraid it was very much the former rather than the latter. Isaiah Quintabe (yes, IQ are his initials) does have similar deductive powers to Holmes, and his sidekick Juanell is a little Watson-esque. There is also a nod (I think) to the Hound of the Baskerville in the plot, even though it centres round a rapper called Calvin who someone is trying to kill.
The best sections of the book were when IQ realises he has to branch out into the criminal world, and pulls off some heists that are as clever as they are tense and action-packed. I also quite liked the flashback interweavings detailing how past events had led him to be the sort-of-detective-for-hire that he is today.
That does rather sum up the problem, though – the best bits were the flashbacks, backstory and the characterisation, not the main plot which didn’t grip me, despite a number of well-executed action sequences. It may be that, as the series develops, the parallels with the Holmes stories become clearer and the combination with the very different LA / modern setting will start to bring greater rewards. There was just about enough promise here to lure me back.