A serial killer is on the loose. He surfaces in one metropolis after another, leaving behind a trail of murders. He masquerades as respectable citizens in different cities – a naval officer in Mumbai and Hyderabad, a film director’s brother in Kolkata, restaurateur in Bangalore, racehorse buff in Pune – and targets single working women. ACP Kale is desperate to catch the elusive killer before he strikes again, but he has no clue except that the killer invariably strikes on an ominous day – Friday the thirteenth, and hires luxury cars to date his victims. One of his quarries, the beautiful Richa finally tames him.
I want to thank the author for providing me with a free copy of the book.
I don’t know how to classify Fire In The Rain. At first, I thought it would be a murder mystery. But as I started reading, I realized there is no mystery surrounding the murders. On the very first page itself, the author introduces us to what triggered the psychopathic tendencies in our villain. He also doesn’t try to hide what goes on through the killer’s mind when he commits the murders or how he commits the murders. So, definitely not a murder mystery.
But, then I thought it would be like a detective novel. But I also couldn’t identify any detective vibe with this book.
I think the correct way to describe this book would be ‘chase’. Yes, the entire book is one big chase of how the protagonist manages to find the killer. One of the things I expect in a book is multi-dimensional characters. I don’t like reading about flat characters whose interactions with each other seem robotic and scripted. Unfortunately, this book suffers from exactly that flaw. I constantly kept wishing the characters had more depth to them. The only character who seemed to possess even a myriad of depth to him was the serial killer. Another thing I didn’t like was the book cover, but almost all indie books suffer from this problem.
Despite these flaws, I found a lot of redeeming qualities in the book. I enjoyed the way the serial killer staked out the victims, particularly in Bangalore. Also, I could tell that the author had put a lot of effort into learning about how some psychiatrists do character profiling on criminals. I enjoyed the bits about the horse races and dog shows.
Yes, this was a pretty short book but a few more pages describing the back stories of the various characters couldn’t have hurt. I think the reason the characters lacked depth was because I knew so little about them. Maybe a bit more history could have helped me relate to them.
Overall, this was a commendable effort for a debut author, but it could have been better.