Mysterious Book Report SunburnSunburn by Laura Lippman

William Morrow/Harper Collins, $26.99, 290 pages, ISBN 978-0-06-238992-3

Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the warm weather season; a time for vacations, kicking back, relaxing and light summertime reading.  And hey, what could be better, we’re kicking it off with one of America’s most loved, respected and widely-read authors who’s always at the top of the NY Times bestseller lists.

Sunburn, by Laura Lippman is a psychological suspense novel about a pair of lovers in a relationship based upon lies and secrets.  Polly and Adam meet in a bar in the small inland town of Belleville, Delaware.  She says she’s just passing through on her way out west: headed for Las Vegas.  Adam is more ambivalent, but also claims that he’s going to be somewhere else when summer ends.  That’s what they say, but it’s not what they do, because they’re both holding back elemental details about themselves . . . even as they’re inexorably drawn together into a passionate love affair.  Polly has a past: seedy, criminal and heartbreaking.  She may, or may not, have stolen a fortune from a defenseless child; and she’s run away . . . abandoned actually . . . her second husband and three year-old daughter.  Adam on the other hand, has a much shorter backstory . . . he’s a private investigator who’s been hired to find Polly, and the secret  cache of stolen money she’s suspected of squirreling away.  As the summer wears on, the lovers get more and more involved with each other, until the sudden, violent death of a co-worker.  It’s officially ruled an accident, but was it?  Will the star-crossed pair survive as a couple or will their deceits and personal failings catch up with them in the end . . .

The pace is relentless, while the suspense and psychological twists just keep on coming in this thriller from the hand of one of the most esteemed writers working in America today, and a great way to start your summer reading!


John Dwaine McKenna