This month we have another brilliantly written thriller by Laura Lippman, and an impressive debut from Nathan Ripley. Read on for my reviews of both books.
This is my second Laura Lippman book, having read Wilde Lake a while ago, and she is rapidly becoming a new favourite author of mine! I don’t know how I went so long without reading her books – but the great thing is now I’ve finally woken up to her awesomeness, there is a whole backlist of Laura Lippman books I can dive into!
Set in 1995, Sunburn tells the story of Polly – a mysterious woman who clearly has a dark past and a lot of secrets, and Adam – a man with plenty of good reasons not to trust Polly. When Polly and Adam meet by chance, they feel an undeniable attraction that sees them fall headlong into a passionate affair.
And yet in the tradition of all good noir thrillers, nothing is quite as it seems. Did Adam and Polly truly meet by chance? What secrets are they hiding from each other, how many lies have they told each other and exactly how complicated are the feelings they are developing for each other? (Hint: hugely complicated.)
Full of surprising twists and unexpected turns, I tore through this book basically at the speed of light. The characters are wonderfully complex and the plot is expertly crafted and perfectly paced to heighten suspense. Sunburn is a very intriguing psychological thriller with a delicious noir atmosphere – bound to appeal to fans of Sue Grafton, Alafair Burke and Dennis Lehane. I can’t wait to start working my way through Laura Lippman’s previous books! Learn more.
I was first attracted to this book by the fascinating premise. Let me lay out the basic setup of the plot for you and you’ll see what I mean. (No spoilers, I promise!)
Martin Reese is a man obsessed with serial killers and hiding a rather peculiar hobby. He pays to get his hands on old police reports so he can study them and locate missing murder victims. He then digs up the remains and calls in an anonymous tip to the police to helpfully let them know that he has done their job for them. Police have dubbed him ‘The Finder’.
Through his actions, Martin brings closure to grieving families and justice to long forgotten victims. But are Martin’s motives really altruistic, or is his secret hobby satisfying some darker urges that he struggles to suppress?
While his wife and daughter have no idea what he’s doing, Martin has caught the attention of a serial killer who is not very happy with The Finder. He is also being doggedly pursued by Detective Sandra Whittal who suspects The Finder is a killer in the making.
This book is a creepy, captivating and amazingly clever thriller that has drawn comparisons to Dexter and The Talented Mr Ripley. Once you start reading, you will be drawn into the suspenseful game of cat and mouse… although it’s really more like a game of multiple cats and mice, though readers will never be quite sure which character is a mouse and which might be a cat in disguise!
Perfect for fans of Jeff Lindsey, Chelsea Cain, Caroline Kepnes and any reader who finds themselves attracted to the dark, morally-ambiguous, anti-hero type. Learn more.
About the Contributor
Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Category Manager for Children's and Young Adult Books. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling
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