cover image Sunburn


Laura Lippman. Morrow, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-238992-3

Set in Delaware in 1995, this scorching tale of the gray area between betrayal, lust, and murder from Edgar-winner Lippman (Wilde Lake) will resonate with fans of James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity. When Polly Costello walks out on her husband and young daughter during their beach vacation, she gets as far as Belleville, a town with a main drag and not much else, except the High-Ho diner, where she lands a job waitressing, at least for now. Enter Adam Bosk, who knows more than he’s telling—of course, so does Polly—but who can cook a mean burger. Soon Polly and Adam, who is exactly the kind of inquisitive guy a woman with secrets should avoid, are dancing around a relationship when Polly’s checkered past—another husband, insurance money, and now a suspicious death in Belleville—comes crawling back. Lippman ratchets up the suspense the way the mercury in a thermometer creeps up on a hot August day, until everything—Polly’s carefully laid plans of revenge and redemption, Adam’s part in her potential downfall—comes to a boiling point. This is Lippman at her observant, fiercest best, a force to be reckoned with in crime fiction. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Feb.)