"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 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?
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.
Set in Delaware in 1995, this scorching tale of the gray area between betrayal, lust, and murder from Edgar-winner Lippman (Wilde Lake) will resonate with fans of James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity. When Polly Costello walks out on her husband and young daughter during their beach vacation, she gets as far as Belleville, a town with a main drag and not much else, except the High-Ho diner, where she lands a job waitressing, at least for now. Enter Adam Bosk, who knows more than he's telling of course, so does Polly but who can cook a mean burger. Soon Polly and Adam, who is exactly the kind of inquisitive guy a woman with secrets should avoid, are dancing around a relationship when Polly's checkered past another husband, insurance money, and now a suspicious death in Belleville comes crawling back. Lippman ratchets up the suspense the way the mercury in a thermometer creeps up on a hot August day, until everything Polly's carefully laid plans of revenge and redemption, Adam's part in her potential downfall comes to a boiling point. This is Lippman at her observant, fiercest best, a force to be reckoned with in crime fiction.
The book was just ok for me. I like Laura Lippman but in Sunburn I kept waiting for something to happen. That came right at the end but the rest of the book seemed a bit bland.
I am still trying to figure out where the title comes from, but that’s probably not very important. This book is boring. I didn’t much care for any of the characters and was very glad to get to the end. Just plain boring.