In Hi Five, the fourth installment in the IQ series (Wrecked; Righteous), Joe Ide continues to deliver exhilarating action with humor and richly drawn characters. Isaiah Quintabe (IQ), East Los Angeles's unofficial private investigator, has settled down after surviving his toughest case against a rogue paramilitary force. But two people are missing from his life: his one-time partner Dodson is trying to go legit again, and despite the presence of violinist girlfriend Stella, IQ has never forgotten Grace, who skipped town two years ago. When IQ declines to investigate the death of Tyler Barnes in a swanky boutique, he soon learns that not everyone accepts no for an answer
Tyler was the favorite employee of Angus Byrne, an arms dealer and white supremacist. The boutique where Tyler was killed is owned by Angus's daughter Christiana, who was present during the murder and the likeliest suspect. It's up to IQ to prove Christiana's innocence and find the real killer; Angus makes it clear Stella's career as a violinist is over if IQ doesn't cooperate. Angus leaves out one small detail--Christiana has multiple personalities, and any one of her five "alters" may have witnessed the murder. Or did one of them commit the crime?
IQ, less awkward but still serious, is tested when Grace returns to East L.A.; Dodson struggles to stick to his promise to his wife, Cherise, to go straight for their son, Micah; and IQ and Grace's faithful friend, junkyard owner TK, self-consciously (and hilariously) pursues Cherise's upright (and uptight) mother, Gloria. Ide's nuanced view of East L.A. reveals a world of wonderful depth. --Frank Brasile, librarian