This novel took me to an uncomfortable place – the inner city LA world of gangs, drugs and a super star rapper. The most uncomfortable aspect of the novel was the filthy language. I am sure it is accurate to the way people communicate in this part of society but it is about as far from my comfort zone as possible.
Isaiah Quintabe is the hero. He is a well crafted character. He's got enough street smarts to outwit any amateur and most professional thieves. He's got a high IQ (the intelligence kind). Even though he never finished high school he understands human character and can figure out how to set wrongs right. He had a hard youth, his older brother dying when Isaiah was still a youth. He spent years stealing to support himself but now older, he uses his wits to help others when in trouble.
The plot is good, taking us to the dangerous characters inhabiting the underworld. Violence is an everyday occurrence and there is a good bit of it in this novel. The structure of the novel combines vignettes of Isaiah's youth intermixed with the contemporary story. It was a good way to help us understand Isaiah.
This novel would be a good choice for those who like a character driven mystery novel and are not bothered by lots of filthy language and casual sex.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Joe Ide grew up in South Central Los Angeles. The idea that a person could face the world and vanquish his enemies with just his intelligence fascinated him. This is his debut novel. He lives in Santa Monica,California.
Mulholland Books, 336 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.