Righteous by Joe Ide

Righteous

In this hotly anticipated follow-up to the smash hit IQ, Isaiah uncovers a secret behind the death of his brother, Marcus.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 Is...

Title:Righteous
Author:
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Edition Language:English

Righteous Reviews

  • Faith

    I suggest reading "IQ", the first book in this series, before reading this book. Not because the stories are dependent on each other but because the first book was very original and introduced the wonderful character Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) who was Sherlock Holmes with more wit. Without that intro you might not get as much pleasure from reading "Righteous". In this book Isaiah is still trying to track down the driver who killed his brother Marcus in a hit and run a few years ago. Isaiah suspects th

    I suggest reading "IQ", the first book in this series, before reading this book. Not because the stories are dependent on each other but because the first book was very original and introduced the wonderful character Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) who was Sherlock Holmes with more wit. Without that intro you might not get as much pleasure from reading "Righteous". In this book Isaiah is still trying to track down the driver who killed his brother Marcus in a hit and run a few years ago. Isaiah suspects that this wasn't an accident but, since Marcus was almost saintly, the motive for this isn't apparent. He also agrees to help extricate the sister of a friend from some serious trouble that she has gotten into in Las Vegas.

    I thought that this book lacked focus. There was too much going on here, too many fight scenes and too many characters. The dialogue appealed to me more than the complex plot. Maybe the author felt the need to up the action because I think the series was sold for television. There are loan sharks, gambling addiction, Chinese gangsters, African gangsters, Mexican gangsters, drug dealers, prostitution, money laundering and more. There is also a somewhat tedious side trip to the courtship of one of Isaiah's friends.

    I hope that there is going to be more to this series because I still love Isaiah and this author is very good, but this book didn't quite live up to the first one for me.

  • William

    Like the first I.Q. book, there are two stories here, in two time-frames, nicely intermingled by Ide. In the first, Isaiah realises that he must pursue the events of Marcus' death, and in the second story, Isaiah and Dodson are perfectly mis-matched, and off and running to save the day for the wayward Janine in Las Vegas.

    Things get ever more complex, with Ide's insightful and horrifying look into the underworld of L.A. gan

    Like the first I.Q. book, there are two stories here, in two time-frames, nicely intermingled by Ide. In the first, Isaiah realises that he must pursue the events of Marcus' death, and in the second story, Isaiah and Dodson are perfectly mis-matched, and off and running to save the day for the wayward Janine in Las Vegas.

    Things get ever more complex, with Ide's insightful and horrifying look into the underworld of L.A. gangs and Las Vegas Triads. The insight about President Bush's good intentions towards the oppressed of China triggering an increasing horror in the USA was quite depressing.

    Throughout, Isaiah is a spectacular bling-noir gumshoe, and the prose and dialogue are top notch. For the first 2/3 of the book the pace is blistering and often hilarious. I was grinning like a madman!

    The ending contains the obligatory, somewhat clichéd and cockeyed shoot-out (not sure why this is obligatory in so many noir books these days) followed by a kind of epilogue was not-dump with some painful realisations for Isaiah about his life and future. Since we love Isaiah, we stand with him as he grows, and as he finds a little ray of hope on the last page. Wonderful.

    My notes and quotes:

    38% ... Wow ...

    1.0%

    2.0%

    5.0%

    7.0% .... WOW, what a rhythm! Delicious prose, the poetry of the 'hood!

    15.0% ...

    25.0% .... Hahaaahahaahhaa

    26.0% ....

    28.0% ... Wow, the fight scene in chapter 5 is fabulous and fun! Woot!

    35.0% .... omg this book is so much fun! Hurray, Ide!

    70.0% ... the story of how Leo acquired Zar is hilarious!

  • Pat

    4 stars

    Book #2 in the IQ series. In this installment, Isaiah Quintinabe (IQ) is still trying to find out what happened in the hit and run death of his brother Marcus. He receives a phone call from Marcus's old girlfriend Sarita. Her sister, Janine, may be in some trouble in Las Vegas and Sarita wants Isaiah to check on Janine. So begins two storylines, one taking place in Vegas and the other in IQ's neighborhood of LA.

    When I first began this novel I was excited to revisit IQ, Dawson and all the

    4 stars

    Book #2 in the IQ series. In this installment, Isaiah Quintinabe (IQ) is still trying to find out what happened in the hit and run death of his brother Marcus. He receives a phone call from Marcus's old girlfriend Sarita. Her sister, Janine, may be in some trouble in Las Vegas and Sarita wants Isaiah to check on Janine. So begins two storylines, one taking place in Vegas and the other in IQ's neighborhood of LA.

    When I first began this novel I was excited to revisit IQ, Dawson and all the other familiar characters from the first novel. I was not so keen on the storyline in Vegas and after awhile the alternating chapters started to put me off. How was this coming together? Ah, Joe Ide performed his magic by lining up all the loose ends and bringing them together. I never anticipated the ending he created. An excellent book #2.

  • Paromjit

    I had such high expectations for this sequel to IQ that I was afraid of being disappointed. My fears drifted away as I began to read, in fact I would venture to suggest that this book is even better, Joe Ide's writing has developed to give us two seamless stories running parallel in the narrative, that come together through the introduction of Sarita, the dead Marcus's girlfriend, over whom Isiah had an all consuming crush on. After it had almost destroyed him, Isiah had dropped his search for t

    I had such high expectations for this sequel to IQ that I was afraid of being disappointed. My fears drifted away as I began to read, in fact I would venture to suggest that this book is even better, Joe Ide's writing has developed to give us two seamless stories running parallel in the narrative, that come together through the introduction of Sarita, the dead Marcus's girlfriend, over whom Isiah had an all consuming crush on. After it had almost destroyed him, Isiah had dropped his search for the hit and run driver responsible for the death of Marcus, but the pain and intense grief has never left him. Upon locating the car used in the hit and run, Isiah is back on the trail, burning with revenge, hate and righteous anger, convinced his brother was murdered. Sarita calls IQ asking for help for her half sister, Janine, and her weak willed boyfriend, Benny, both gambling addicts. Their lives are on the line with trouble from a loan shark, Leo, and the 14K Triad, whom Benny had ill advisedly tried to blackmail.

    Isiah has acquired a pitbull, and is helping the locals in the poverty stricken Long Beach area of LA. However, he is feeling out of sorts when Sarita calls him. He jumps at the opportunity to help, daydreaming about himself and Sarita getting together and the rosy future they would have. We get reacquainted with Dodson, whose girlfriend, Cherise is now pregnant, Deronda, TK and others. Isiah and Dodson go to Vegas only to encounter mayhem, violence, Chinese gangs and the ugly side of life such as human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Add to this volatile mix a Mexican gang, run by the entrepreneurial Manzo, attempting to modernise and lift it out of the ghetto, yet still dogged with members holding on to their brutal history and instincts. IQ and Dodson fight their way through a trail of death and destruction in their efforts to save Janine, Benny and Ken, Sarita's father. Seb, a Rwandan civil war survivor who has remade himself in the US, finds himself a person of interest to Isiah as he digs deep to ascertain his connection to Marcus.

    Joe Ide delivers a tale full of allusions from the original Sherlock Holmes stories, told with wit, warmth and humour. It is written with vibrant prose and fantastic dialogue. It is a intricate story with psychological depth in its character studies, such as Isiah desperately trying to rise above the hate that is eating him up, and tuning into the most emotionally vulnerable side of a person to destroy them. Isiah has serious issues that he is forced to confront and address, his lack of social skills and difficulties in making relationships and so much more. There is nothing superficial in either the storylines or in any of the characters as they are developed. It is this complexity that marks Joe Ide as a gifted author writing this unique and barnstorming series. Cannot wait for the next in the series! Simply Superb and highly recommended. Many thanks to Orion for an ARC.

  • Trev Twinem

    Great characterization and a cracking dialogue It is refreshing to discover something new and exciting under the heading of crime fiction; meet Isaiah Quintabe affectionately known as IQ to his friends. He's a fast talking young man who lives and works in Long Beach California, almost akin to a modern day bounty hunter, who accepts occasional criminal cases as a means to survive. When Sarita the ex girlfriend of his brother Marcus (killed in a hit and run some 10 years previous) asks for his hel

    Great characterization and a cracking dialogue It is refreshing to discover something new and exciting under the heading of crime fiction; meet Isaiah Quintabe affectionately known as IQ to his friends. He's a fast talking young man who lives and works in Long Beach California, almost akin to a modern day bounty hunter, who accepts occasional criminal cases as a means to survive. When Sarita the ex girlfriend of his brother Marcus (killed in a hit and run some 10 years previous) asks for his help to rescue her younger sister Janine who has gone missing in Las Vegas he is eager to assist. Together with his trusty partner Dobson (two egos trying to outflank eachother!) they make haste for America's gambling mecca and an imminent confrontation with a motley crew of gangsters including a hit team of Chinese triads. In addition IQ is convinced that his brother Marcus was not accidently killed but rather the target of some evil men and he is determined to find out who and why.....

     

    I love the pace and sheer roller coaster ride as the narration introduces a many and varied list of characters that constantly confront the reader, all with a story to tell. The ability of the author to hold my interest was undoubtedly due to the cracking dialogue that positively fizzled from the first page....."the Eiffel Tower lit up like Elton John at a New Year's Eve party"....."why you'd wear a miniskirt if your thighs were like two whales swimming side by side"...."The bartender was a twist of beef jerky in a chartreuse polo shirt"....."its claws scooping out creek beds of flesh; suture marks left by someone with a knitting needle and kite string"...."There were consequences to violence, like grief it changed you"....."the real fear was of mortality. Death was palpable, and you're suddenly aware that you're alive by the thinnest of margins"...

     

    In this review more than any other I am content to let the writing skills of Joe Ide bring the story alive.To me I almost feel he is a Raymond Chandler for the modern age; beautiful prose that smack you in the face with their audacity, leaving you smiling and begging for more. This is the second book in the series and I shall be reading book one almost immediately...it is that good and comes from me to you with the greatest recommendation. Many thanks to the good people of netgalley for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.

     

  • Carol.

    This is a good book; don't let my rating fool you. After all, what are ratings? A momentary reflection on the enjoyment of a read, a statement on the overall quality of the book, an assessment of value, or a comparison to an author's other works? On any given day, I may rate according to any one of those things, while attempting to explain why in my review. Onward, then.

    Isiah, known locally as 'IQ,' is contacted out of the blue by Sarita, the woman who had been dating his brother in the years be

    This is a good book; don't let my rating fool you. After all, what are ratings? A momentary reflection on the enjoyment of a read, a statement on the overall quality of the book, an assessment of value, or a comparison to an author's other works? On any given day, I may rate according to any one of those things, while attempting to explain why in my review. Onward, then.

    Isiah, known locally as 'IQ,' is contacted out of the blue by Sarita, the woman who had been dating his brother in the years before he died. Her call shakes him from his depression after discovering the car involved in his brother's hit-and-run and realizing that it was intentional, a homicide. Sarita is worried about her half-sister, Janine, a DJ and gambling addict who lives in Vegas and claims she's in trouble. This time, IQ asks Dodson along, who has been busy trying to go straight in the food truck business while supporting his very-pregnant girlfriend Cherise. As always, they discover more than they expected in Vegas after the sister's boyfriend attempts blackmail. At the same time, the narrative follows IQ as he works his brother's case and his last steps in the weeks before his death.

    Although reviewers often dub IQ as 'Sherlock-style,' there really is only the faintest resemblance to the Coyle stories. In this book, the action is considerably amped up, and IQ's deductions are primarily in service of rescues and not in solving a mystery. There's also a dual timeline, with IQ's earlier investigation into his brother's murder intermixed into his trip to Vegas to assist Janine.

    One of the challenges for me was that Ide uses a limited third-person narrative, giving the reader perspectives from virtually everyone in the story. Personal perspective from Dodson, Janine, her boyfriend Benny, a store clerk, Janine's father, the loan shark, a local gangbanger, a local gang leader, etc. all serve to confuse the story line and create distance between the reader and the characters. On the one hand, this choice does give the reader some insight as to the motivation, potentially humanizing those choosing a life of crime. On the other hand, it is so many people that it is hard to care about one person in particular. Furthermore, I'm not sure it was successful. I felt like the perspective just convinced me the person in question was an asshole, making it hard to appreciate IQ's efforts.

    I felt mildly guilty not enjoying this more. Ide's a solid writer and to be honest, I think he is using a technique very few authors could pull off. The overall quality of the writing is very high, far above the average mystery; really edging into literary fiction. A little stuck on what didn't work, I happened to open Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead, another kind of mystery/ lit-fic that solves a mystery while looking at life in the underclass, hoping for more insight. I think a limited perspective would have helped a great deal. Ide could have put more of the information into dialogue, bringing the characters to life, or left it out altogether. My guess is, however, that he likely wanted to humanize some of the criminal stereotypes used. Dodson provides much of the comic relief, but in some ways, that's a stereotype too.

    I think changing emphasis on the story lines and concentrating on IQ's brother's murder and his resulting personal development could have done some amazing things. Greater focus on IQ might have let more opportunities for humor to creep in as well, because IQ mostly seems grim and irascible. While I appreciate his awareness of his contradictory impulses, it felt very tiring after a bit. He's so young, and still struggling with the fallout of the murder that the plot with Sarita and Janine felt like a distraction from the emotional weight of the real case.

    Overall then, a middling kind of read, partially because Ide set the bar quite high in IQ. Still, I'll be looking forward to the next book.

    Three-and-a-half stars, rounding up because I like IQ's potential.

  • Truman32

    is the gripping follow-up to Joe Ide’s celebrated 2016 thriller

    . Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) is still solving crimes and mysteries as an unlicensed private detective in East Long Beach, California. IQ is an inner city investigator; think of a blend between Sherlock Holmes and Mushmouth from Fat Albert’s

    (with much better enunciation and a party-sized smarts). He takes cases from his neighbors—sometimes trading items and services for his methodical and observant deductions. Ot

    is the gripping follow-up to Joe Ide’s celebrated 2016 thriller

    . Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) is still solving crimes and mysteries as an unlicensed private detective in East Long Beach, California. IQ is an inner city investigator; think of a blend between Sherlock Holmes and Mushmouth from Fat Albert’s

    (with much better enunciation and a party-sized smarts). He takes cases from his neighbors—sometimes trading items and services for his methodical and observant deductions. Other times working for free. He is still haunted by the murder of his brother, and tracking down the killer consumes his waking hours. But then a new case arrives—his dead brother’s old girlfriend needs aid in locating her gambling-addicted sister. Isaiah must employ all the skills and tricks at his disposal, as he is not the only one on the hunt! Ruthless Chinese mobsters and savage loan sharks make up a cavalcade of goons chasing this young woman. These are bad men, and they come armed with brutal beat-downs, hot lead, and a morally vacant willingness to use any means at their disposal to achieve their nefarious goals. They will not lose sleep when the blood begins to spill and the screams ring out.

    Like a piggyback on the Hulk,

    is a compelling and exciting ride sure to elicit sweating palms and increased heart rates. Ide humanizes his inner city environment, distancing his story from stock stereotypes and ghetto clichés. This mystery is crammed full of interesting and authentic characters, violent exchanges, and seemingly unworkable quandaries that only the big brain of IQ can crack. Isaiah continues to evolve as a person through his relationships including his friend/ex-burgling pal Dodson who is now operating on the up and up as a food truck operator until he is pulled back into his friend’s chicanery. The nail-biting conclusion is satisfying and leaves us waiting breathlessly for the next book.

  • Terri Jacobson

    Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) is still grieving for his brother, Marcus, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident four years ago. Since then he has been helping folks in his East Long Beach neighborhood with problems that the police can't solve. Now his brother's former girlfriend, Sarita, is having problems with her sister Janine. Janine is in Las Vegas and is deeply in debt to a loan shark. Sarita asks IQ to help.

    IQ has feelings for Sarita he has never disclosed, and he sees this case as a way to gain

    Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) is still grieving for his brother, Marcus, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident four years ago. Since then he has been helping folks in his East Long Beach neighborhood with problems that the police can't solve. Now his brother's former girlfriend, Sarita, is having problems with her sister Janine. Janine is in Las Vegas and is deeply in debt to a loan shark. Sarita asks IQ to help.

    IQ has feelings for Sarita he has never disclosed, and he sees this case as a way to gain her affection. He asks his friend, Dodson, to go to Vegas with him and investigate. Along the way, IQ learns details about his brother's accident.

    is a well-written story, and the characters--particularly IQ--are engaging and real. The story moves along nicely with some surprises along the way. Very enjoyable, I look forward to the next volume in this series.

  • David Yoon

    I had to pick this one up as soon as I finished Joe Ide's debut IQ where we're first introduced to Isiah Quintabe. Righteous picks up shortly after IQ closes and still has that rollicking East LA voice.

    This time Isiah finds himself dealing with a Rwandan gangster, Chinese Triads, Mexican gangs, and his brother's ex-fiance Sarita. She's worried about her Vegas DJ sister and her bro-tastic, loser boyfriend as they find themselves over their heads in gambling debt. Ide once again juggles several s

    I had to pick this one up as soon as I finished Joe Ide's debut IQ where we're first introduced to Isiah Quintabe. Righteous picks up shortly after IQ closes and still has that rollicking East LA voice.

    This time Isiah finds himself dealing with a Rwandan gangster, Chinese Triads, Mexican gangs, and his brother's ex-fiance Sarita. She's worried about her Vegas DJ sister and her bro-tastic, loser boyfriend as they find themselves over their heads in gambling debt. Ide once again juggles several stories at once as Isiah begins to question whether his beloved brother was exactly what he appeared to be. Dodson also returns as Isiah's don't-call-him-a-sidekick, partner - now expecting his first child and hustling to make an honest buck.

    With Righteous we see Isiah isn't just a fantastic inductive detective but a first rate problem solver. Still a fun read but it does suffer a bit of the sophomore slump as we work to build Isiah's character as he makes the transition from stumbling innocent to a more mature adult. His relationship with Sarita is all old school John Hughes instead of John Singleton and rings a little too predictably. And while I have to give the Japanese American author who grew up in South Central a pass I still cringe a bit at the probably realistically named Chink Mob and their garbled Engrish that has them saying things like "You no my fren, you go way now or we killing you for sure!"

    Still I like the world Ide has created and I'm curious to see where Quintabe and Dodson head next.

  • Meredith

    This is a quick read, but there’s a lot going on: two cases, lot

    This is a quick read, but there’s a lot going on: two cases, lots of action, and tons of emotion. Isaiah investigates the murder of Marcus, and another case that involves a DJ in Vegas, Janine, who gets in over her head with Chinese gangsters. Helping Janine comes at the behest of Marcus’s former girlfriend, Sarita--the woman that Isaiah has loved from afar.

    Isaiah’s investigation into Marcus’s death leads to him confront some painful realities and come to terms with some of his life choices. In doing so, he comes to recognize that he needs people, including friends.

    Janine’s case takes Isaiah and Dodson to Las Vegas. I love the dynamics of Dodson and Isaiah's friendship--they bicker they an old married couple.

    This book really delves into the emotional depths of Isaiah's character; his pain over Marcu’s death is palpable. The moment he recognizes that Dodson is his friend is endearing. I love the motley cast of characters, especially Cherise, Deronda, and Ruffin (the cowardly pitbull). This series has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s intelligent, original, well-written, and full of heart. I highly recommend and cannot wait to read book three!


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