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Book - 2021
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"Isaiah Quintabe is no longer IQ, the genius of East Long Beach; instead, he's a man on the road and on the run, hiding in a small Northern California town when his room is broken into by a desperate young man on the trail of the state's most prolific serial killer. His old partner, Juanell Dodson, must go straight or lose his wife and child. His devil's bargain? An internship at an LA advertising agency, where it turns out the rules of the street have simply been dressed in business casual, but where the aging company's fortunes may well rest on their ability to attract a younger demographic. Dodson--"the hustler's hustler"--just may be the right man for the job"--
Publisher: New York : Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company, 2021
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2021
ISBN: 9780316531061
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY IDE 2021
Characteristics: 323 pages ; 25 cm


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Apr 20, 2021

I did not enjoy this book as much as the first three in the series. It felt like a collection of short stories, one about Dodson, one about Deronda, and one about Isaiah. To be truthful, I enjoyed the sections about Dodson and Deronda the best. I almost put the book down but then I realized I could skim through the Isaiah sections of the book and I would not miss too much.

Dodson's story was the best...I'm beginning to enjoy his character much more than Isaiah, who for someone who is supposedly so intelligent, sure makes some stupid decisions. Deronda's story was also compelling but Isaiah's just became very formulaic.

Maybe Dodson could evolve into a character who has his own series. He certainly has style, pazzazz, humour, and intelligence to carry a series. (less)

Mar 10, 2021

Joe Ide is exceptionally skilled at dialog, creating funny incidents and at setting a complex plot spinning. With "Smoke", Ide sets things up with a prologue introducing Crowe, a parolee, and his parole officer Pearce who conspire to burgle houses of other rich felons. The opening chapters are then devoted to each of several familiar characters: Isaiah, Dodson and Deronda, plus a couple more chapters to introduce new characters. Isaiah, on the run from several gangs, suffering from PTSD, leaves both L.A. and his girlfriend Grace behind and heads for the uplands of Northern California. He rejects his IQ persona so he can stop dealing with the dregs of humanity who he feels stain his soul. Dodson's wife delivers an ultimatum: get a job with a future or else she's kicking him out but arranges an internship for him at a big white downtown advertising agency. Meanwhile, Deronda's being blackmailed by a former john who may be her baby daddy and wants half her successful food truck business in return for leaving her alone. Crowe and his brother Warren turn out to be serial killers; Ava, a victim's twin sister, intends to track them down with the help of a high school friend, Billy, but they get in over their heads and turn to Isaiah for help. Grudgingly, he lets himself be sucked into the very situations he's trying to escape. Of course, the miscreants and the two teenage sleuths cross paths with our friends and things get tense and interesting in a hurry.

And the last page is the set-up for the next book: Grace goes missing; a spiked dog collar belonging to another ex-con, Skip Hanson, whom we've met in a previous book, is found in Isaiah's driveway.....

I enjoyed this book; sucked it up in 5 days.


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