Publisher:William Morrow (February 20, 2018)
A Bustle, Entertainment Weekly and PopSugar Most Anticipated Book of 2018.
“Every time Laura Lippman comes out with a new book, I get chills because I know I am back in the hands of the master. She is simply a brilliant novelist, an unflinching chronicler of life in America right now, and Sunburn is her dark, gleaming noir gem. Read it.” -Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl
New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman returns with a superb novel of psychological suspense about a pair of lovers with the best intentions and the worst luck: two people locked in a passionate yet uncompromising game of cat and mouse. But instead of rules, this game has dark secrets, forbidden desires, inevitable betrayals and cold-blooded murder.
One is playing a long game. But which one?
They meet at a local tavern in the small town of Belleville, Delaware. Polly is set on heading west. Adam says he’s also passing through. Yet she stays and he stays drawn to this mysterious redhead whose quiet stillness both unnerves and excites him. Over the course of a punishing summer, Polly and Adam abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair. Still, each holds something back from the other dangerous, even lethal, secrets.
Then someone dies. Was it an accident, or part of a plan? By now, Adam and Polly are so ensnared in each others lives and lies that neither one knows how to get away or even if they want to. Is their love strong enough to withstand the truth, or will it ultimately destroy them?
Something or someone has to give.
Which one will it be?
Inspired by James M. Cain’s masterpieces The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, and Mildred Pierce, Sunburn is a tantalizing modern noir from the incomparable Laura Lippman.
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Most of you know I’m an avid crime fiction reader, it’s my go to genre so I’m slightly ashamed to say this was my first Laura Lippman book! Looking through her back catalogue I can see she writes exactly the kind of books I love so I have NO idea how she’s been off my radar thus far. I’ve seen many others say that Sunburn is not typical for her, but I loved it and her writing is so nuanced, so dang good that I won’t be missing out on her books in the future.
Polly is a mysterious woman with a plethora of secrets in her past, you know little about her for a long time, Lippman methodically peels back the layers of her character until you get to the core. Adam also has a mysterious past and the same goes for him, you slowly but surely gain information about his history and you’re just never totally comfortable trusting either of them. Unreliability at it’s best! There are quite a few points of view, but not too many in my opinion, each served a particular purpose and were there for a specific reason, not just as filler. The characters were complex, interesting and so shady, right up my alley.
Many will say this is a slow burn and I totally agree, but it’s also a slow unraveling of a tangled tale that I was never quite sure of. Not sure of who to trust, not sure what their true motivations were and definitely not sure of what would happen next. I never did figure things out ahead of time, the ending totally surprised me, completely unexpected and wholly satisfying.
Sunburn in three words: Subtle, Hypnotic and Unpredictable.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my review copy.
About Laura Lippman
Since LAURA LIPPMAN’s debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Laura has been nominated for more than fifty awards for crime fiction and won almost twenty, including the Edgar. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.