Book review: Sunburn by Laura Lippman

Sunday, April 15, 2018 Permalink

US author Laura Lippman has published a myriad of crime fiction and I’ve read a great many, including most of the Tess Monaghan series. Like Sandra Brown, Karen Rose and Nora Roberts she usually offers us a good balance in her romantic suspense novels and her latest, Sunburn, is no different.

Book review: Sunburn by Laura LippmanSunburn
by Laura Lippman
Published by Faber & Faber
on March 1st 2018
Source: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 0571335667, 9780571335664
Pages: 304

What kind of woman walks out on her family? Gregg knows. The kind of woman he picked up in a bar three years ago precisely because she had that kind of wildcat energy.

And now she's vanished - at least from the life that he and his kid will live. We'll follow her, to a new town, a new job, and a new friend, who thinks he has her figured.

So who is this woman who calls herself Polly? How many times has she disappeared before? And who are the shadowy figures so interested in her whereabouts?

This book starts kinda cleverly in that we’re not exactly sure of the timeframes. The blurb above hints at a habitual scammer and makes mention of the man she’s duped and one following her. We’re not entirely sure initially however, which is which. I actually think Lippman could have strung that scenario out a bit longer, or perhaps that it may have been clever to have plots unfolding concurrently in different timeframes and then reveal that the man and child we read about her ditching, are already a thing of the past by the time we meet Pauline (Polly).

Anyhoo, we’re kept guessing for a while and in the heads of Pauline / Polly, newcomer into her life Adam, and (for a while anyway) her ex husband, Gregg.

We know Pauline / Polly has her secrets and soon learn Adam knows more than he lets on as he essentially attempts to ‘play’ a ‘player’. As we’re in both heads however, we know they remain suspicious of the other, even when their relationship progresses.

I know another book blogger / reviewer who loved this book and though I enjoyed it I probably didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I could have. The plot became a little convoluted – new facts were continually revealed (about Pauline) and I wasn’t exactly sure which was the big dark secret that would eventually bring her down.

And when it did come, it felt a little anti-climatic given some of her history. Like the previous book I read (Elizabeth George’s The Punishment She Deserves) I felt a sense of frustration at the end… a sense of waste or fruitlessness and I’m not sure the last chapter (and flip to the ‘now’) offers the closure I would have liked.

However, having said that this is a fairly short well-paced read and I didn’t want to put it down once I’d started, reading it in a sitting.

Sunburn by Laura Lippman was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin and now available.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.


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