April 15, 2019

Book Review: Sunburn by Laura Lippman

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 other’s 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?

Sunburn is a scorcher of a mystery with a very intriguing protagonist at its core.  

I’ll tell you this – you’re going to think you know what Polly is all about and what she wants. First you will think she’s a cold-hearted femme fatale who’s done the unthinkable.  But with every chapter, every revelation, Polly becomes someone else – a victim, a weakling, a terrible mother, a ruthless criminal, even a murderer? One thing is for sure – she has an end-game in mind and the reader is never completely sure what her driving force is until almost to the end.  

Sunburn is my first Laura Lippman novel and I am officially a fan.  Lippman is masterful at hooking the reader and keeping you invested and guessing.  But what she’s best at is describing characters and their inner lives to such eerie specificity - she truly knows the human psyche. 

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