REVIEW: SUNBURN, BY LAURA LIPPMAN

 

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?

My Thoughts: From the very first page of Sunburn, the reader is drawn into the mysterious connection that seems to develop immediately between Adam and Polly.

Circumstances brought them together, but desire and the slow burn of secrets and lies would keep them connected…for one long hot summer and beyond.

Who is Polly? We learn bits and pieces of her life and her past as the tale progresses. Their alternating narratives fill in the story over time. Is she a con artist bent on destruction? Or is she someone with a plan and unexpected goals?

Additional layers revealed complexities I didn’t see coming until the very end.

Fascinating story with interesting characters, some of whom were evil and destructive. But I liked both Adam and Polly and rooted for them. Would either of them get what they wanted from the relationship? Would they abandon their original goals? Or would life and someone’s manipulations throw too many curves for either of them to win? A stunning leap near the end of the story brought some of the answers. 5 stars.

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