Sunburn by Laura Lippman book review

Sunburn by Laura Lippman book review

My summer holiday read this year was Sunburn by Laura Lippman. Lippman’s writing is bold, cool and stylish. You’re in safe hands with this seasoned writer of psychological thrillers. The story is told from the point of view of Polly and Adam, written in first person present tense. The use of present tense means you’re on the edge of your seat not knowing what’s going to happen next. I won’t drop any spoilers, but the added benefit is that writing from the first person, she is able to make her storyteller/s unreliable and packed full of dangerous secrets. Lippman also messes with your head in terms of how you identify with the characters, particularly Polly/Pauline. She seems to deliberately provoke you to dislike the character, then pull you back in to empathic closeness.  There is a delicious organic quality to how the novel starts too, with a description of Polly’s sunburn that then runs into the story as if all the tragic events were inevitable. A marvellous book I’d definitely give five stars.