Righteous by Joe Ide

Righteous by Joe Ide
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

For ten years, something has gnawed at Isaiah Quintabe’s gut and kept him up nights, boiling with anger and thoughts of revenge. Ten years ago, when Isaiah was just a boy, his brother was killed by an unknown assailant. The search for the killer sent Isaiah plunging into despair and nearly destroyed his life. Even with a flourishing career, a new dog, and near-iconic status as a PI in his hometown, East Long Beach, he has to begin the hunt again-or lose his mind.

A case takes him and his volatile, dubious sidekick, Dodson, to Vegas, where Chinese gangsters and a terrifying seven-foot loan shark are stalking a DJ and her screwball boyfriend. If Isaiah doesn’t find the two first, they’ll be murdered. Awaiting the outcome is the love of IQ’s life: fail, and he’ll lose her. Isaiah’s quest is fraught with treachery, menace, and startling twists, and it will lead him to the mastermind behind his brother’s death, Isaiah’s own sinister Moriarty.

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This is the second book written by Joe Ide and it picks up basically immediately after the first (“IQ”) leaves off. While I feel readers could pick this story up as a stand-alone novel since the author does a good job of fully explaining what is happening in Isaiah’s life and why he makes the choices he does, a part of me definitely feels the story was better for having read IQ first and knowing a lot of Isiah’s history and motivations.

I really enjoyed this story. Isaiah is a different character to many I read, fairly young and while incredibly smart still flawed enough to make youthful mistakes and not able to foresee everything like he thinks he can. It’s a great dynamic – particularly when it comes to repercussions (some of which he has to face from the first book which I also loved) and showing that being incredibly intelligent isn’t always an answer or solution for all problems.

My only real problem with this book was the time-line jumping around a fair bit. While this admittedly also occurred in the first story (IQ) I felt that was better integrated and didn’t leave me feeling so confused at times. Here, I felt the author could have done a bit of a better job highlighting where the story was being recalled from past interactions and which bit continued the current time-line. At points in the book I was quite confused as to when something was actually occurring in the time of the story itself.

That said, this book also had a great feel of realism to it for me. The world isn’t a perfect place and answers aren’t always there to be found. I thought the plotlines wove really well together in this story – between the various cases and characters Isaiah was interacting with and this helped to my mind in keeping the pace of the story moving quickly.

Readers who like a strongly plotted mystery story with a bit of action/adventure and a whole slew of realistic but different characters should definitely give this series a try. I’ve really enjoyed both the first story and this second book and I plan to purchase the rest of the series and continue along with it.

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