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Publisher's Summary

This blazingly original novel from the most exciting new voice in crime fiction today is a brilliantly crafted modern noir filled with secrets, heartbreak, and mordant humor.

Gloria Mendez is single and 36, and secretly and somewhat hopelessly in love with her oblivious boss. He is both single and solitary, and far too old for her, but she has worked for him, side by side, for 10 oddly companionable years. But when he disappears on his annual trip to Mexico, the one aspect of his life to which she's never been privy, Gloria's sudden and impulsive search for him reveals the wreckage of a hidden past. Carl Perreira was not who Gloria thought he was, nor was he anything she could have imagined.

As Gloria travels this twisted road into Carl's backstory, she realizes she might not have known him at all. Her investigation discloses as much about her own life as it does about her mysterious boss, and leaves her fighting for her life. Sunstroke is everything a thriller should be: circuitous, thought-provoking, and brimming with edge-of-the-seat suspense, and the start of a brilliant career.

©2006 Jesse Kellerman; (P)2006 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Many readers will enjoy the intrepid Gloria and her puzzle." (Publishers Weekly)
"There's plenty of heat here to justify the buzz." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Snail's pace but good!

I loved this book. Loved its quirkiness, irreverent humor, the prologed suspense and the meticulously detailed descriptions. I think it is truly original. And I loved the timing. Like working my way through the squash casserole in anticipation of the key lime pie, I waded slowly but joyfully through each paragraph. I couldn't put it down.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Original voice, well-told tale

Jesse Kellerman is a better writer than his dad (Jonathan,) but doesn't have his dad's gift for fast-pacing. He's as good a writer as his mom (Faye), maybe better, and certainly with a wider lens and fresher outlook.

I really liked this story, which is a mystery that I couldn't guess my way through. It constantly surprised me. The characters are deep, and the diverse cultural understandings rich. I love the main character, a woman with a blighted life who keeps on keeping on. Everyone around her also well realized.

Really good narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Slowpoke a better title

Listening to Sunstroke was an exercise in boredom. Endless internal and external dialogue allows you to know these characters, but it just doesn't make you like them or hate them. What I wanted was to be done with them. This book was unbelievably descriptive but that didn't make it interesting. All the action in this novel could be condensed into a very short story. The suspense is minmal and by the time it occured I just felt a sense of relief because the end would be approaching. Skip this book unless you have a lot of time on you hands.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Had its moments, but not a great read!

I realize this is the author's debut book; however, it would have been better with a good editor, which was clearly lacking in this story.

The family tree scenario was way too convoluted and extremely difficult for the reader to follow. Some of the characters were colourful, but the sections with the man who designs tombstones was way too long and really not critical to the story at hand.

I often found myself getting lost in the storyline and had to keep "rewinding" my MP3 player to try and figure stuff out.

Could have been a much better book than it was, so I was rather disappointed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Terri
  • 04-21-07

Trying too hard...

I had an English writing class in college and was handed one of my graded papers that the instructor had written "you're trying too hard" along the top. I wasn't positive what that meant at the time, but once I listened to this book, I got it!

I am a huge fan of the Kellermans and was hoping their son would be another great writer. What a disappointment. I felt that I needed a dictionary next to me the entire novel, it seemed like it was some type of game to throw in a totally off the wall word to ultimately discribe the mundane.

I was hoping to like Gloria - she started out with some promise, but just like the story line, she did nothing but bore me in the end. Again, a real disappointment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Absolutely fascinating characters, incredible story line. Loved it!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


this was a stroke from the beginning. fairly good plot but cardboard characters.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tracy
  • Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • 04-14-06

Don't bother!

This book was horrible, the beginning is slow, then you think in the middle there might be something, but in the end it is disjointed and sloppy.
And really, a 28 year old man writing in the voice of a mid 30's mexican american woman, Pu-leese!
save your money

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joel
  • Dallas
  • 02-18-06

Slow Start

By the end of the book it was worth the listen, but the first third is slow. The plot is difficult to follow. Not as good as his parents.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Potomac Falls, VA, USA
  • 02-10-06

I should of gotten something else

As an audible subscriber for over a year and a half, I've downloaded and listened to at least 2 books a month in that time.

This has to be the worst choice I've made in that time.

I found the story to be boring and slow going, and in order to capture the depressing nature of the protagonist, the narrator sounded……boring and slow-going. I didn’t find it funny either.

It may not be my preference of story. So I say to those out there who prefer the traditional cop/spy/murder mystery type of story to stay away from this one.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful