by Laura Lippman

Overview - Click Here For the Autographed Copy
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.

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More About Sunburn by Laura Lippman
Click Here For the Autographed Copy
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?

  • ISBN-13: 9780062389923
  • ISBN-10: 0062389920
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Publish Date: February 2018
  • Page Count: 304
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Suspense
Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Psychological
Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Crime

BookPage Reviews

Whodunit: Take a dive into a classically styled noir

At one time or another, all of us have considered the appeal of walking out of our current life, leaving everything and everyone behind, and starting afresh somewhere new. Few people have stronger reasons to do this than Polly Costello—female lead in Laura Lippman’s new James M. Cain-inspired thriller, Sunburn—who has fallen into a series of abusive relationships. Her latest lover, whom she encountered while on the run, is Adam Bosk. Unbeknownst to Polly, Adam is a private investigator who’s been hired to get close to her in order to look into Polly’s dubious dealings regarding a large insurance settlement. Despite initial misgivings on both sides, the two develop genuine feelings for one another. But Polly is no stranger to the casual, spur-of-the-moment lie, and pretty much everything about Adam Bosk is based on a lie as well (actually, nearly everyone in this book plays fast and loose with the truth), so it is quite difficult for the reader to determine just who is playing whom, and it remains that way until about three pages from the twist ending. Don’t peek.

Army sergeant Nola Brown has been given a new lease on life—sort of. She was mistakenly counted among the dead in a military airplane bombing in which there were no survivors until the mortician, Jim “Zig” Zigarowski, who knows Nola, realized that the remains in his care were of some other person entirely. Brad Meltzer’s latest thriller, The Escape Artist, traces the troubling arc of the very much alive Nola’s existence, flashing back to her traumatic childhood and adolescent years, and then forward once again to present day, when she is running for her life from a band of deadly conspirators operating under the moniker of Operation Bluebook. Without a doubt, her childhood prepared her in large measure for the harrowing challenges being thrown at her now (think Lisbeth Salander, minus the dragon tattoo); she will have to call on every last resource at her disposal in hopes of neutralizing Operation Bluebook before it neutralizes her. The Escape Artist has the pacing of a Japanese bullet train, a clever and original plot, and the requisite twists to keep the reader off balance.

It could be problematic for an author to revisit a novel after nearly a decade in order to tell the rest of the story, but John Hart plows right through those concerns with The Hush, a gripping sequel to his Edgar Award-winning novel The Last Child. Ten years have passed since the double homicide chronicled in that first book, and the now 23-year-old protagonist, Johnny Merrimon, faces the loss of the Hush, the 6,000-acre parcel of North Carolina property he inherited from his family. Part swamp, part woodland, the Hush is said to be the home of unseen things, perhaps supernatural. As rival forces begin to compete for Johnny’s land, strange events begin occurring, culminating in a crucifixion. Hart deals with the supernatural in much the same way as James Lee Burke or T. Jefferson Parker—he puts it out there on display but lets the reader decide how much is real. Nonetheless, he will manage to elicit goose bumps from even the most skeptical reader.

If we translated our day-to-day experiences into fiction, the many converging plotlines would rarely fit into a coherent A-to-B narrative. Very few authors, especially suspense novelists, follow this natural model. One who does, and does so brilliantly, is Kent Anderson, whose Green Sun follows the erratic career of Hanson, a Vietnam vet turned cop, then professor, and about to turn cop again, this time on the mean streets of east Oakland, California. Hanson engages with an interesting and motley group of nominal heroes and villains with whom he shares the daily stage: 11-year-old Weegee, who has the street smarts of someone twice his age; drug lord Felix Maxwell, the sort of folk hero about which narcocorridos are written; and a plethora of fellow cops who take umbrage at Hanson’s refusal to comply with police norms. Conciliation and peacekeeping are his primary goals in community policing; arrests and incident reports are to be avoided whenever possible. With Green Sun, Anderson writes effectively—not with bombastic special effects, high tension or even a lot of suspense, but instead with realism—and he imbues his protagonist with a solid dose of humanity. If I were a cop, Hanson would be on my short list for role models.


This article was originally published in the March 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews