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3.47  ·  Rating details ·  19,909 ratings  ·  2,865 reviews
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 steam
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by William Morrow
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Geri I thought the ending was perfect for this story. Yes, I would have liked things to have turned out differently, but a happy ending wouldn't have wrung…moreI thought the ending was perfect for this story. Yes, I would have liked things to have turned out differently, but a happy ending wouldn't have wrung true for Polly/Pauline. And really, who's to say it wasn't a happy ending? She achieved her hidden goal, which is more than many people get in life. (less)
Ann I was also a winner of that giveaway and don’t have the book. I sent an email to William Morrow, the sponsor of the giveaway, on 1/31/18 but haven’t r…moreI was also a winner of that giveaway and don’t have the book. I sent an email to William Morrow, the sponsor of the giveaway, on 1/31/18 but haven’t received a reply.(less)

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Average rating 3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  19,909 ratings  ·  2,865 reviews

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Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
4.5 Stars!

My reviews can also be found at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

The cover of “ Sunburn ” caught my eye right away. And after reading the book description, I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this new novel from Laura Lippman.

The novel opens in Belleville, Delaware in 1995.

When Polly and Adam meet at the High-Ho restaurant in Belleville, they’re both just passing through. Polly, a redhead with a two-day-old sunburn catches Adam’s eye. They aren't sure what to
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Well paced. Beautifully observed details. Interesting characters and nuance in the right places. The overall mystery sustains itself well for quite a lot of the time. Thoroughly enjoyed this book and the protagonist who is flawed and brilliant and ruthless and unapologetic.
OOH, my review went up on L.A. review of books today!!


super excited to be reading and reviewing this for l.a. review of books!!! review is scheduled for 3/5

j e w e l s

What happened, Laura Lippman? This could have been a 5 STAR book! I’ve never read any of your books and as I began this psychological thriller, I was hysterically delighted to have discovered my new favorite author! But, then, wait. Oh, never mind.

I’m truly at a loss to explain the downward spiral this book unexpectedly went on. The first half completely sucked me in with villainous, questionable characters involved in….murder? insurance fraud? arson? The reader is not sure what, but you
Jennifer Masterson
3.5 Stars. I loved the book until about the 75% mark. Then I found myself surfing Instagram and fast forwarding. It was just a little too slow of a burn for me. Please note that I don’t have the best attention span for books like these unless I love the subject or the characters.

I did enjoy the fact that it took place in 1995. I have fond memories of my early 20’s so references to songs, pay phones, calling cards and OJ I enjoyed! 🤗

I listened to the audiobook. Susan Bennett’s narration was a 5!
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laura Lippman’s new stand-alone “Sunburn” is different from anything she’s previously written but don’t let that scare you off. It’s equally as good as her other novels, but this time she follows the inspiration of James M. Cain’s psychological crime noir novels. As the character’s history and motives are slowly revealed (or are they?) it becomes increasingly difficult to determine who is manipulating whom and what outcome they are pursuing. Lies, lust, betrayal, revenge, blackmail, murder, and ...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ten years ago or so, I had the fortune of meeting this author when she was at ALA in Chicago. She was just becoming an author to watch, was gracious and kind. We were given a copy of her newest book, one I went home and read. Loved it and have read her ever since.

Polly and Adam meet in a little town restaurant, she a waitress, he the cook. They both have many secrets, are not who they appear to be, both fooling the other. Actually the less said, the better. Let the author take you where she wil
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounded up

If you enjoy ‘modern noir’ with deeply flawed characters, as I do, you will love Sunburn. What a terrific read! I recommend picking this book up without knowing a lot of details of the plot. (No spoilers in this review!) I listened to the entire book on a long car trip last Sunday and was riveted. It’s a slow burn in the beginning, but the tension and atmosphere kept me interested throughout.

When Polly and Adam meet, they both have secrets. Polly is on the run from a compli
Elyse  Walters
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dangerously seductive!!!
....lustful puzzling steam
....compelling & alluring
....unsympathetic characters
....secrets, lies, love, betrayal, manipulation...
....crime, murder, mystery
....The ending wasn’t predictable to me ( perhaps part of it), surprisingly satisfying.

I had mixed feelings for awhile with this book - but I kept returning - glad I didn’t give up ( a few slow parts)...but overall I definitely liked it enough to be interested in reading more books by Laura Lippman.

Megan Johnson
*Potential spoilers ahead, even though I hate them I don't know how to express my thoughts on this one without them*

I hadn't heard of this book but when I was browsing Barnes and Noble after a particularly stressful day I noticed it was 60% off and figured for that price even if I hated it, it was fine. It's like I knew. I really wasn't a fan of this one. Here's why -

For starters, it's ssssslllloooowwww. I know maybe I'm spoiled when it comes to suspense and thrillers, but I felt like I was che
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
A slow burner of a thriller which kept me interested but the not one for my favorites shelf.

When Polly and Adam meet by chance in a local bar of a small town they are both have secrets and over the course of one hot summer they embark on an affair that is dangerous and dark.

I loved the premise of this novel and it does start out really strong, these is a dark suspenseful air to it and I really got quickly drawn into this one, however I felt the slow reveal of Polly’s story really was overkill a
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery, 2018, noir
Two strangers meet at a small town bar. One is a sexy and mysterious redhead. The other is a handsome man who says he’s just passing through. That’s either the set-up to a dirty joke or the start of a noir novel.

I’ve been meaning to read Laura Lippman for a while now, and this one was right up my alley. I don’t want to say too much about the story because I think it’s one of those that the less you know the better going in. Suffice it to say that there’s plenty of twists and turns with both the
James Thane
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a modern noir novel that pays homage to the great books of James M. Cain. Like The Postman Always Rings Twice or Double Indemnity, it focuses on two lovers, Polly and Adam, each of whom has closely held secrets that are revealed very slowly as the book progresses.

The story takes place in Belleville, a small town in Delaware, forty-five miles from the beach, and where nearly everyone is simply passing through. As the book opens, a sunburned Polly is nursing a drink in the High-Ho, a bar/r
Theresa Alan
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this original mystery. We know Polly is hiding things from her past when she meets Adam at a bar in a small town in Delaware. She intends to go West, he’s passing through. But against both of their better judgments, they fall for each other and stay where they are.

They’re both hiding things from one another, things that are revealed to the reader and each other over the course of the book. Polly is an odd character, but I ultimately liked both her and Adam. There were clear villains in
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
“How much do you want me? She thinks. It’s not vanity on her part. It’s vital information.”

Seems everyone mentioned ‘noir’, well I don’t even know what that means, let alone recognize all these comparisons to novels by James M. Cain. But if this is what is called ‘psychological noir’ then I’m here for it. More of this please!

“She wonders if he is as exhausted by all the lying as she is.”

There was a whole chapter (15) where we found out Polly’s gnarly past regarding Ditmars. I haven’t been th
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A redhead sitting alone in a darkened bar with sunburned shoulders.

Sounds like some bad decision-making here. Shoulda known better......

Laura Lippman begins her story with two elusive strangers, a bit of alcohol, and a definite casting their fates to the winds. This ain't the Bahamas, folks. It's happenin' in a local tavern in Bellville, Delaware. Seems like one of them is hiding out and trying to keep ahead of the backstory. Only that backstory will be bleeding into every minute of every day th
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Two men, more added on, one woman, many lies and a lot of deceit.

SUNBURN has your brain burning to find out what is really going on.

Polly has just left her husband, Gregg, and her daughter, Jani, while they were at the beach. She had it planned, but we don't know why.

Gregg was ready to leave the marriage, but Polly took off first.

Adam is also mysterious because we don't know what he is up to since he showed up at the same time Polly did and decided to hang around and work at the same place Poll
May 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a well crafted mystery with an unusual twist, there is no murder at the beginning to spin the story from. There are two people who meet and share an instantaneous attraction. Each is carrying a ton of emotional baggage and secrets that will mean the end of their relationship if either tells the truth. Not only do they keep the truth from each other, the reader is also in the dark.

Talk about unreliable narrators! If you like ambiguity and I do, this is a psychological minefield that you w
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“I really would like to get to know you.”

“Trust me, you wouldn’t.”

The gin joint is the “High-Ho” in Belleville, Delaware. The she is Polly. When Polly meets Adam they both claim to be simply passing through town. Somehow they both end up working at the High-Ho. She as a waitress/he as a short order cook. Their attraction to each other is impossible to hide. Who they each truly are appears to be easier to conceal. Someone is pul
Liz Barnsley
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sunburn is a subtle and enigmatic piece of storytelling featuring a subtle and enigmatic main protagonist. A beautifully written joy to read.

This is a slow burn, cleverly manipulative and genuinely compelling story, where the mystery elements play within the character studies, a story of two people hiding secrets and playing parts. It is utterly riveting as you follow Polly and Adam through a long summer of a relationship built on lies, neither of them are who they appear to be to each other and
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-arcs

Most of you know I’m an avid crime fiction reader, it’s my go to genre so I’m slightly ashamed to say this was my first Laura Lippman book! Looking through her back catalogue I can see she writes exactly the kind of books I love so I have NO idea how she’s been off my radar thus far. I’ve seen many others say that Sunburn is not typical for her, but I loved it and her writing is so nuanced, so dang good that I won’t be missing out on her books in the future.

Polly is a mysterious woman with
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first Laura Lippman book and I really enjoyed it! I did a buddy read with Dennis and Jamie and while I’m writing this review they are still finishing up and I can’t wait to hear their thoughts!

So, at first I was a little confused because I had no idea this was set in 1995 but once I realized that the story read smoothly. Sunburn is told in many points of view, which if you follow any of my reviews I love that!

Polly or Pauline was a straight hard ass and I wasn’t sure if I was going t
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2018
(NOTE: I've started blogging - you can join me here for more reviews and book discussions:

Laura Lippman is one of my go-to authors for good crime fiction with a strong female lead. I assumed that was what I would be reading when I picked up her latest work, Sunburn. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to find one of the best works of modern Noir with a classic touch that I have read in a long time. Lippman has created a femme fa
I genuinely loved this one and found it hard to put down or stop thinking about. I've not read any of Lippman's previous work but will need to fix that error in judgement.

Here Polly and Adam arrive separately to a small Delaware town and slowly get to know each other, but not fully. Both are hiding things, yet neither finds those details important as they gradually fall for each other. Adam's secret is known to the reader but Polly is a surprise a minute. I thought I had her figured out and the
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-pub, mystery
Laura Lippman's Sunburn is quite possibly one of the most original mystery novels I've read since I've started my Goodreads account. It's a complex, well-written mystery that not only hooks you into the story, it doesn't let you know who in fact you want to root for! This is one of those mystery novels that you need to go in blind to get the full effect, but let's see what I can provide for you before I give you my overall thoughts. Set in Belleville, Delaware, Polly is enjoying a cocktail a ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
2-1/2 Stars.

Sunburn started off strong for me. I was intrigued. The characters were mysterious and I wanted to know their secrets. Little by little I learned more and suspense began to build.

I’m okay when a suspenseful book has a slow build but this seemed almost the opposite for me. As time went on, the story almost seemed to slow down and I began to lose rather than gain interest. Unfortunately, it ended up feeling a bit anticlimactic for me.

So, apparently I’m in the minority here as there
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sunburn is the kind of book which hooks the reader with mystery and suspense while questioning the authenticity of the main characters motive and purpose throughout.

Thought provoking with an simmering level of intensity which feels like its threatening to boil over at any moment, Sunburn reads equal parts Lisa Lutz (The Passenger) and James M Cain (The Cocktail Waitress) - suburban noir at its finest.

At its heart, Sunburn tells the tale of a woman scorned, searching for a better life who isn't
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of two people that show up in a small town at the same time both with lies and something to hide from the other. But who is lying and who can be believed? This story was a bit slow for me in places but towards the end it really came together. Polly and Adam were amazing characters and I would have like to have seen the ending a bit different but it wasn't a totally horrible book. Be prepared for some lulls in the middle of it. ...more
Jessica Woodbury
I have read at least 10 Laura Lippman novels (this is the 6th since I started using this Goodreads account 6 years ago) and while there are a couple I like a lot, most of the time I read them and just want a little bit more. Still, she's usually reliable to write something readable (especially her standalones) and I recommend her a lot.

But from the beginning I could tell this was going to be my favorite Lippman book. It felt different from the first page. (So did AFTER I'M GONE, which is probab
Jamie Rosenblit
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
Sadly, not a hit for me. I have enjoyed many of Lippman's books in the past, but this one felt like I was waiting for something big to happen that never really did. I didn't truly care about any of the characters or their outcome, so I couldn't get into this like I would have hoped. Since I have enjoyed some of her other books in the past, this will definitely not deter me from picking up what comes next from Lippman.

The best part about this for me was buddy reading alongside my friends Dennis &
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Laura Lippman is a New York Times bestselling novelist who has won more than twenty awards for her fiction, including the Edgar Award—and been nominated for thirty more. Since her debut in 1997, she has published twenty-one novels, a novella, a children’s book, and a collection of short stories. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. LitHub named her one of the “essential” fema ...more

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We asked Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, and journalist-turned-crime novelist Laura...
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“It's a special art, asking people to do things, yet making it seem as if you never asked at all.” 14 likes
“Tough, yet brittle. That’s the thing about being really hard. When you do break, you shatter.” 6 likes
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