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Sunburn

by Laura Lippman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6364426,368 (3.75)54
Named one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018 by Bustle, Popsugar, Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Seattle Times, Book Riot, LitHub, BookPage, and Paperback Paris. "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.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
3.5 I'm not sure I would've liked it as much if it hadn't been an audio book. This psychological thriller was effective in the two main voices -- I wanted to keep listening. It's also divided into to main parts: Smoke - the hint of a problem and Fire -- a full-blown issue. There are several clever layers like this to the story which makes it a little fuller than the simple plot line. Polly (aka Pauline with a couple different last names) shows up in a coastal town bar/diner, the Hi-Ho, looking for work. Coincidentally so does Adam Bosk. And their lives and stories entertwine from there. Polly is on the run from a marriage she wants out of and from a more sordid past than she cares to reveal. Without spoiling anything, another family is involved. She has goals and she has a long game and she's tremendously patient. Adam has that in common with her. His reasons for being there are much more self-interested and gratuitous, but he learns about Polly as the reader does and her past is spooled out in little doses that we all have to be content with. Tagged "unnatural" by her latest ex-husband, Polly is definitely calculating, manipulative and secretive. Can love soften that heart? That's the question both the reader and Adam have right up until the shocking end. Compelling and intriguing, this is a great vacation escapist story. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
With Lippman you never know. Is the hero a "good" or a "bad" person? Or some kind of mix? In her Tess Monaghan series, we know Tess to be a fundamentally good person. She is not likely to go off the rails or do some kind of "long game" to gain something. In the standalone novels we can't be sure.

Sunburn is about Polly. Also known as Pauline. Adam meets Polly in a bar in a small town in Delaware. Polly only recently arrived and is staying in the motel across the street. Adam soon gets a room there himself and the two become close.

Adam finds himself taken by the odd redhead. She is fearless. She is not needy. She speaks the truth. Except when she doesn't. It isn't always clear when she is lying. Good liars usually include a lot of truth.

But Adam has a job. He is actually watching Polly for his client. He fears that if Polly finds out his role she will reject him. It's difficult. Is it the real thing, this love?

Polly has a history and it isn't pretty. But it can also be read different ways. Throughout the book we are trying to figure out if she is actually a good person who has been wronged or a slick manipulator. Either way, she is fascinating. It's complicated. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
I was disappointed in this book after all the hype its received, but in all fairness it's not my type of book. ( )
  kerryp | Jul 4, 2020 |
A solid 3.5 stars. Enjoyed the pace of this novel. ( )
  amandanan | Jun 6, 2020 |
What a pageturner! Laura Lippman writes with a wonderful influence of old-school noir (think The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity). There is the traditional cast of noir characters: the seasoned P.I., the femme fatal, the amoral attorney, the dirty cop. Sunburn also features typical tropes like blackmail, murder investigations, and double-crosses. But Laura Lippman adds her own spin to the story to create something unique yet faithful to the noir genre. Sunburn is a fantastic read, and I highly recommend grabbing a copy when it hits bookshelves in February 2018.

Note: I received an ARC through Goodreads. Sunburn will be available in bookstores on February 20, 2018. ( )
  hianbai | May 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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For Ann and Michael  
Because in real life, I root for happy endings
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It's the sunburned shoulders that get him. Pink, peeling.
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Named one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018 by Bustle, Popsugar, Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Seattle Times, Book Riot, LitHub, BookPage, and Paperback Paris. "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.

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