Righteous, Joe Ide’s second novel to feature Isaiah (“IQ”) Quintabe, follows the neighborhood detective as he continues the investigation into his brother’s murder while also being dragged by an old friend into a dangerous new case.
When his dead brother’s girlfriend Sarita calls him out of the blue IQ knows she must need something. It turns out her sister Janine is in terrible trouble out in Las Vegas, owing money to a dangerous loan shark whose already threatened her boyfriend. When Janine and her boyfriend decide in desperation to steal information on her father’s clients, they set in a motion a deadly chain of events involving a local gangs, assassins and human traffickers.
IQ and his sidekick/partner, the soon-to-be-a-father Juanell Dodson, struggle to keep their wits about them and their heads above water as they finds themselves among all these killers, trying to pit them all against each other and keep themselves alive.
Though Righteous is a fun ride and the interplay between IQ and Dodson is amusing, the book as a whole is a little overstuffed. There are so many characters in the main story in addition to an underserved secondary story. There is some excellent work done in setting up the conclusion of Isaiah’s investigation into his brother’s murder, but by itself this second installment is a little too wobbly to stand on its own.