Author: Vish Dhamija
Publisher: HarperCollins India
No Of Pages: 301
DCP Rita Ferreira is called into the investigation after a third corpse is discovered in Mumbai, which confirms it is the work of the same killer who paints his victims’ lips with dark red lipstick. The Lipstick Killer, like all serial killers, is fast decompensating – the time interval between the murders shortening, the victims shifting from street-side hookers to high-heeled wives … And he watches everything and everyone – the news of his exploits, Rita, the investigation – and talks. However, he only talks to you: ‘When I’m gone, some people may tell you that I was evil, perhaps even call me a psychopath. Don’t believe them. I am not. I am anything but irrational and impractical; perhaps only slightly more detached than your average guy on the street.
I would like to thank WritersMelon and Harpercollins India for the review copy. My review here is unbiased and totally honest.
Rita Ferreira is back again for her new homicide investigation. she was absolutely fantastic in Behndi bazaar and Doosra but in this book Rita was not much of her what she was in first two books. May be this book was all about the killer, killer way. The Serial killer absorbed most of the pages for himself. Is the killer intelligent here?He would never repeat the mistake he did in his first kill. His “nutty me” however pushes him to be enthusiastic during the act ,he would never distract himself to leave a trail. A trail would destroy his “nutty me” forever.He wouldn’t cost that. The killer is not intelligent but he is highly cautious. He hides in a plain sight which makes him more dangerous.
Author succeeded in not to reveal the killer identity or give a clue even to readers as in story flow. Readers were as much blank as police detectives.
The story had a great base but mid along the pace,the story slowed down. I felt author didn’t push the police investigation to be more interesting. The thrill was missing while reading those crucial pages. I know that every discussion of police would end up to a dead point as it involves a cautious serial killer yet I expected at least the magic of “Pretend to be thrilled” .Each killing M/O and discussion was similar or repetitive.I also felt the killer psychological story or his real life alias was hanging half way even at the end. Lipstick was a good story still I couldn’t pin a point what I exactly miss in this story. The story had ample turning points(believe me it had many)but ended just like that.
The Narration and language was easy and neat. Author tried to bring most characters associated with Rita in this book too. Ash and Rita were great as usual in this book.Ash’s work about the killer was the interesting part which gave an angle for Rita to move a different direction from her investigation.Will Ash be back? I will miss his works.
Overall “Lipstick” is a good come back for Rita’s thriller after years. The story would have made a great deal if the loops had been looped in together for the gripping flow of the story.