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Isaiah Quintabe 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.
His old partner, Juanell Dodson, must go straight or lose his wife and child. His devil’s bargain? 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 yet with desperate souls, courageous outcasts, an ex-stripper who’ll do anything to protect her son, and wild half-brothers who may be the very incarnation of evil.
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.
"Mr. Ide, always a generous plotter, weaves several storylines into this kaleidoscopic chronicle….Dozens of other wonderfully sketched minor characters—science-fair whiz kids, pimps and prostitutes, working-class heroes, vengeance-bent relatives, sorrowful junkies and idealistic strivers—flesh out this richly imagined and sharply written saga. Smoke, which concludes with a cliffhanging crisis, positively demands a follow-up, and fast.”—Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
—George Ernsberger, The Sullivan County Democrat
"People who pick up Smoke are in for a treat."—H C Newton, Irresponsible Reader
"Smoke is an engrossing mystery with multiple story arcs that are quite interesting....With plenty of nail-biting tension, Joe Idebrings this thrilling mystery to an action-packed conclusion."—Book Reviews by Kathy
--- Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Joe’s brilliant imagining of what Sherlock Holmes would be like if he came out of East Long Beach."—Mike Lupica, New York Daily News