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The Sun Down Motel

by Simone St. James

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James X
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2020, 336 pages
    Oct 2020, 352 pages


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There are currently 49 reader reviews for The Sun Down Motel
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Power Reviewer
Elizabeth P. (Lower Burrell, PA)

The Sun Down Motel
Carly left college for a "few" days so she could head to Fell, New York, to see if she could find anything out about how her Aunt Viv died or where she might be.

Viv disappeared from The Sun Down Motel where she worked in 1982 and was never found.

When Carly arrived and checked out The Sun Down Motel, she couldn't believe her aunt would even think of working there.

It was a creepy, out-of-the way place, but Carly surprised herself and took a job there on the same shift that her aunt worked.

Carly saw strange things and knew she should leave, but she stayed. She had to find out what happened and what happens at THE SUN DOWN MOTEL.

We follow Carly as she investigates and as Viv's story is told back in 1982.

Besides the creepy town and motel, we meet ghosts, creaky doors, weird guests, odd sounds, and no way to contact anyone not on the hotel grounds. We learn about the hotel and the murders that took place in the town of Fell as well as the connection to The Sun Down Motel.

Each chapter got stranger and stranger as the motel seemed to come to life and have a life of its own.

If you enjoy tense, creepy, spooky story lines that include unsolved murders from years ago, THE SUN DOWN MOTEL will be your perfect read.

Be careful with the motel you choose, and especially do not stay at a motel that has anything remotely close to the name of this motel.

The ending is twisty and brilliant. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher and BookBrowse in exchange for an honest review.
Melissa H. (Stowe Twp., PA)

Keep the Lights on - PLEASE!
The book volleys back and forth between 1982 and 2017. Viv who disappeared narrates 1982 and Carly, her niece narrates 2017. It is fast paced and as the mystery comes to an end it is a book you don't want to put down! Though I probably wouldn't read this while on a road trip staying at motels/hotels even WITH the lights on, because you never know when they may go out!!
Karen S. (Allston, MA)

Ghosts and suspense worthy of late night reading
I would have been happy if this was just a good mystery to read between some heavier documentaries. This was much better and fun to read. The author makes some old themes fresher again: small towns and their secrets, adults who disappoint the children in their care, and ghosts giving us warnings. The suspense got me from the start and pulled me into the small world of Fell, NY, past and present. I appreciated the uncluttered writing style that did not give away clues too easily or create red herrings.

I would recommend this to those who like mysteries, and readers young and old. My book groups would probably find this too "light" for good discussion, but my beach buddies will enjoy it next summer. I am already looking for Simone St James' earlier works.
Power Reviewer
Kristen H. (Hagerstown, MD)

Wow! This book definitely drew me in and held me captive right up to the last page. I hated that it ended but yet could not stop turning the pages. This was the first book that I have read by this author and I am looking forward to reading more.
I liked how each chapter went back between 1982 and 2017 it did keep the story interesting. SImone St. James has a great knack for excellent storytelling, she sets up her story very well, introduces each character very richly and you feel like you have known them for a long time. Her description of the motel was spot on that you could drive anywhere in the United States and find "The Sun Down Motel." Just hope that there is No Vacancy,,,
Wendy R. (Pinehurst, NC)

Twilight Zone Meets Alfred Hitchcock
If you are a fan of unexplained happenings and a good mystery, you will enjoy "The Sun Down Motel". The story takes place in a very small town in New York state. The book is a great blend of family history, closing the book on a family death and a haunting presence. The book reads like a rollercoaster, flying around corners and unraveling secrets that have been buried for years. It is a fun, sometimes creepy read that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you like "who done its", combined with letting your imagination run, this book is for you!
Rebecca L. (Torrington, CT)

Creepy and mysterious
I've heard so much buzz about this author with their recent books so I was excited to see their new release come up on BookBrowse. I don't know if it was just timing but this book was really hard for me to get started with. There's always so much to do get ready for Christmas and between that and my work schedule I was having a lot of trouble carving out time to read. Once I got into the story though, I really enjoyed the plot line. The parallel between the two different time periods was really interesting and added to the overall story plot. I really liked Carly's character and her little menagerie of friends she collected upon her arrival into Fell. I thought the author did a great job of really dragging the reader down into that spiral of obsession that happens when you become completely enveloped in a mystery. Vivian's spiral into obsession was really well written and really jumped off the page. Comparatively, some of the other emotions of the story fell a little flat to me. I'm not sure if it's because I had to keep jumping in and out of the story but some of the emotions weren't as lively as I thought they could have been. Overall the creepy/horror factor was definitely there though and I ended up really enjoying the story. I would recommend reading this one, it was an exciting read and really interesting story.
Samantha H. (Golden, CO)

Crazy finish a little hard to take.
This book is a fun, spooky read. I enjoyed the plot development as Carly's investigation and Viv's story unroll simultaneously. The twist at the end was a little far-fetched, but in general the novel is entertaining. It would be a good option to pick up in the airport bookstore.
Barbara B. (Bradenton, FL)

The Sun Down Motel
This is one of those books I truly needed to time to digest before I could even begin my review. The characters are interesting and the plot very clever. It should also be noted this is a mystery and a ghost story combined. Therefore one must be rather open minded to enjoy the story of two time periods, and two main characters. Viv's story takes place in 1982 and her niece Carly in 2017. The mystery of what happened to her Aunt Viv who disappeared in 1982 has always haunted Carly who goes hunting for answers to the family secret of what happened to her aunt and finds more than expected ! If you enjoy a good ghost story you will like this book.

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