Published on: October 21, 2022
I recently picked up "IQ," a 2016 detective novel by Joe Ide, that I found to be an intriguing look at a milieu with which I was completely unfamiliar - East Long Beach, where an unlicensed private detective, Isaiah Quintabe (the IQ of the title), takes on cases from locals that the authorities won't or can't address. What IQ brings to the table is a Sherlock Holmes-like intellect - he's razor smart and perceptive, and able to see things that most people don't even notice.
In "IQ," the first in a series, Quintabe finds himself trying to find out who is trying to kill a strung out rap mogul, which brings him into the crosshairs of a hired killer. The plotting is strong, the patois feels authentic, but what really is appealing is IQ's backstory - the events that led this high school dropout to this unusual line or work, and the guilt he carries with him and drives him.
It's a solid entry in a genre I love, and I recommend it.
(Ide also has written a new Philip Marlow novel, "The Goodbye Coast," in which he brings Raymond Chandler's iconic private eye into the modern world. "IQ" is so good that it made me want to check it out.)
Somebody is going to have to explain the broad appeal of HBO's "The White Lotus" to me.
I know the critics loved it. I know the audience reaction was sufficient to get it renewed for a second season. And I have no quibble with the writing and acting, all of which marinated the series' exploration of class and race in a Hawaiian resort a high level of acidity.
But for the most part, I found "The White Lotus" to be off-putting because I never really care about or empathized with the vast majority of the characters. I watched the entire first season, but found myself a) being glad that it was only six episodes, and b) having no inclination to watch a second season.
I've watched the first few episodes of the "Quantum Leap" reboot - enough to be able to tell you that it is worth avoiding. I was a big fan of the original, Scott Bakula version from the early nineties (not to mention time travel shows and movies in general), but the new one has none of the originality, none of the spark (provided by Bakula and his co-star, Dean Stockwell), and none of the energy that its time traveling premise unleashed.
The new one has way too much exposition and none of the magic - I'd rather go back and watch the original on Peacock, or watch other time-traveling series like "Journeyman" and "Timeless."
That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.