Isaiah "IQ" Quintabe, the Sherlock-inspired protagonist from Joe Ide's debut, IQ, is still solving crimes in East Long Beach, Calif., when he happens upon the car responsible for the hit-and-run death of his brother 10 years earlier. The junkyard discovery reignites IQ's resolve to find Marcus's killer. Even though Isaiah moved on with his life and found a role in his community, the loss of his only family haunts him. Meanwhile, Sarita, Marcus's ex-girlfriend, contacts IQ about a job. Isaiah hasn't spoken to her in nearly a decade, but he's secretly been in love with Sarita since she dated his brother; he will do anything to prove his worth to her. Sarita's half-sister, Janine, owes overwhelming debts in Las Vegas and is in serious trouble. The risks are high on this case, and a wrong move could result in prosecution for both Sarita and Isaiah. But Isaiah is determined to come through for the woman he loves, so he calls on his former partner, Dodson, and they head to Sin City.

As the incredibly smart but socially challenged IQ works on the cases, Ide more deeply crafts his dynamic character and the conflicts that plague him. Like Ide's first novel, Righteous is dark, smart and layered. It also displays brilliant humor, especially through Dodson, who is never short on a colorful exchange packed with wit and sarcasm. With only two books under his belt, Ide has proven he's first-rate when it comes to writing great crime novels. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

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