Published Feb 20, 2018 by William Morrow
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 that begin to accumulate as autumn approaches, feeding the growing doubts they conceal.
Isn’t that cover fantastic?! It’s what drew me to take a closer look at this one and then to go against my self-imposed ban on psychological suspense/thrillers. I’ve been wanting to read Laura Lippman for a few years so this seemed like the perfect time to give her a try.
From the opening pages I was very taken with the whole cat and mouse vibe this story has going on! Within the first 50 pages I realized it reminded me of the tone of The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (loved). That is, no one was especially likable or trustworthy but I couldn’t stop reading . In Sunburn, you have Polly AKA Pauline and Adam, both with rather shady pasts and even murkier intentions in their current situations. In an effort to be concise and quick I’ll sum up my main points about what I really enjoyed…
- The web of deceit playing out between Polly and Adam left me off balance with not knowing who to trust
- The story is told in alternating perspectives (POVs) between Polly and Adam with a sprinkling of other POVs which surprisingly didn’t bother me
- The instability of the characters….who was playing who?
- Lippman’s ability to tease the reader with tidbits thrown here and there, creating heightened confusion and layers of questions
- Small town setting
- This story felt original and had me guessing about everyone’s motives and end games
- The ending…loved it and NOT what I expected.
What you should know before diving into this one is, it’s a SLOW BURN of the highest level. I’m not saying that in a negative way, only that if you’re looking for a fast paced thriller this isn’t it. This novel is high on introspection depending on the POV and Lippman takes her time peeling away the layers of the characters and story. It works. I think many readers are going to love this and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for psychological suspense with an underlying mystery and an intriguing game of cat and mouse
Many thanks to William Morrow via Edelweiss for my copy