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 fatale character that stands her ground with any of Chandler’s characters and then some!
The book opens with two strangers in a bar – yep – a gorgeous woman with a sunburn and a handsome man who cannot stop watching her. You would think that this is a set up for an old classic movie but you soon find that the peeling layers of skin from Polly’s sunburn are metaphors for the multiple layers after layers of secrets, lies and deceits that these characters have brought to the table.
Polly, a mother of two abandoned children – or is she? A murderess or battered wife protecting herself and her child… And who is Greg really? An admirer? Her savior or another pawn who Polly is willing to use in her machinations of deceit?
This is a hard-boiled classic noir tale of domestic intrigue that will have you rapidly turning pages to discover the truth – if you can. 5 golden stars and high recommendations for this incredible book.