Of IQ, the first thriller by Joe Ide, we said “a unique and edgy crime/mystery novel”. The same cannot be said about the fourth book in the IQ series. This one is a mess. It is a shame because IQ, the unofficial neighborhood detective is a great character.

I thought a character with multiple personalities would be a challenge for both author and reader. Oddly enough, that is not where Hi Five fails. Ide created a very believable character in Christiana Byrne, daughter of arms dealer Angus Byrne. The other personalities are different enough you do not get lost and they feel like real characters. The bad buy, Angus Byrne, is also solid.

Where the wheels start to fall off is the premise. Angus threatens to break the fingers on IQ’s girlfriend, a professional violinist. Said violinist shows up for a page or two and by then IQ more than moved on to a former flame.

They completely come off with the many secondary and tertiary characters and plot lines. It is difficult to care about the people who hand around Joe Ide’s IQ. In fact, a lot of those passages feel like filler while Ide tries to figure out where to go next.

By the time the reader gets to passages like “BRIIIIIIIING the alarm clock went off”, he or she has pretty much given up real interest and is finishing the book just because.

Hi Five
An IQ thriller
Joe Ide
Mulholland Books 2021

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