First off, I have to apologize. I announced my return after puppy maternity leave, only to find that I had a severely sprained wrist and thumb, which put me in a soft cast. Typing became VERY difficult as I adjusted to life without a mobile right wrist and thumb. Poor me, I know, but let’s just say that typing became something I dreaded.
As a result, my book reviews and the sharing of all my deep thoughts took a back burner to everything else in life. But I’m back, I hope, and am going to try to do some catch up this week, so I can start April (April, really?!!!) with a bang.
To start back, here’s a look at a favorite from February by the amazing Laura Lippman, Sunburn.
BOOK TITLE: Sunburn
BOOK AUTHOR: Laura Lippman, Susan Bennett
PUBLISHER: William Morrow
February 20th 2018
GENRES: Noir, Suspense, Thriller
CHECK IT OUT AT: Goodreads
BUY IT: Buy on Amazon
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.
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?
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.
I LOVE Laura Lippman. Everything I’ve read by her (and I haven’t read all of her books) is intelligent and suspenseful, filled with great characters and wonderful twists.
Knowing that, you’ll understand that I had HIGH expectations going into Sunburn. And Queen Laura did not disappoint.
Very different than her previous books, Sunburn is very much noir fiction. Dark, shady, sneaky. Perfect.
Lippman obviously studied the masters of noir, especially James M. Cain. She pays complete homage to him when one of her characters goes to a series of old, black and white movies aptly named “Raising Cain.” The series features three of Cain’s best loved books turned into movies: The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, and Mildred Pierce.
Sunburn is a great tribute to the masters (especially Cain) of noir. Lippman subtly uses the formula of the masters to create nearly perfect modern noir. She flashes back to 1995, to a time before cell phones and social media stalking, a time when a person could have real mystery and an unknown quality (unless one chose to do real research). When a person could disappear pretty easily.
Polly (Pauline) is an incredibly complex character with a rich, layered backstory that comes in pieces throughout the book. We meet her as she abandons her husband and three year-old daughter, so immediately she’s unlikable. But is she, really?
And then there’s Adam, also complex, but his complexity is laid at the reader’s feet. He’s a private investigator, sent to find Polly. Slowly we discover who sent him, and why. And slowly Adam falls in love with Polly, and she with him.
As they circle each other with truths and lies, their love is the only honest thing happening between them. Will the lies, and the truth, get in the way of their love? That’s the question.
Lippman uses all the great devices of noir: a complex damsel in distress; a smart, honest PI; a plethora of bad guys waiting to get to the damsel. A mystery peeled back in layers, all wrapped up in a love story.
Once again, Lippman didn’t disappoint. If your looking for something different, something that will remind you of smoky rooms, a good stiff drink, and black and white mysteries, look no further. Sunburn is perfect.