In this fifth installment of the IQ series, both Isaiah Quintabe – an unlicensed detective for all seasons – and his best friend and masterful sidekick, Juanell Dodson, are at a crossroads. This time, their lives may never be the same.
Isaiah 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.
Dodson must go straight or lose his wife and child. His devil’s bargain is 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.
Ide is the crime writer’s crime writer, and he’s filled his best novel with desperate souls, courageous outcasts, an ex-stripper who’ll do anything to protect her son, and half-brothers who may be the very incarnation of evil. Filled with deft plotting, lacerating humor, and a keen eye for the ways in which characters rise or fall based on their ties to one another, SMOKE is Joe Ide’s crowning achievement.