This detective novel won several awards: Shamus (Best First PI Novel 2017,) Anthony (Best First Novel 2017,) Macavity (Best First Mystery 2017,) and nominated for the Edgar Award. Along with the accolades, this is billed as a 20 year old black Sherlock Holmes solving cases in South Central LA. So I was sold on giving it a try.
By Joe Ide
The main mystery – a rapper has been targeted by a hit man – isn’t really the main story here. Since this is the first novel, Ide weaves in IQ’s past as the more important of the two stories. He jumps back and forth between 2005 and 2013 and it flows well. By the end, we have s solution for the rapper mystery as well as a cheat understanding of IQ and his gangsta friend/ Watson.
While I enjoyed the book, I found getting to know Isaiah much for interesting than finding the person who took out the hit on the rapper. And I find that solution to be tagged on to the end of a book that maybe didn’t need that whole plotline. The ending felt hurried and unsatisfying. There is a second book and I’ll definitely read it, so this wasn’t a deal breaker for me.
For those that this matters to, it is important to note that this book is filled to overflowing with crass language, cussing, gang violence, sexuality and whatever else would automatically trigger an R rating if filmed.
Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.