I’m not a big one for mystery novels, but the book world was so excited about Joe Ide’s literary debut and IQ, both together and separately, that I got excited for it, too. Plus, thinking that Ide sounded like a vaguely West African name, I’m always up for supporting emerging Black talent!
IQ precisely follows the formula Doyle laid down in the Holmes novels, right down to each individual beat. For a connoisseur of mysteries, this could be boring, I suppose, but for a relative newb like me, I found it quite satisfying. Tension is drawn out effectively, and the plot is paced well to keep the engagement of the reader. A more veteran reader would surely have “solved” the book well before I did – I recognized enough signposts to know I should have been able to figure it out before Ide revealed the solution – but I don’t find this a detriment. I like to have things revealed to me at the author’s choosing, not mine.
Ide isn’t doing anything particularly new, here, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. Tried and true formulas can be highly satisfying for readers – that’s why we call them tried and true. It’s Ide’s voice that make his characters come alive and bring the reader into their world. Whether he sticks to Doyle’s blueprint in the future or develops something new for himself, I’m down.
Rating: Four stars