What readers think of The Sun Down Motel, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

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
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2020, 336 pages
    Oct 2020, 352 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 5 of 7
There are currently 49 reader reviews for The Sun Down Motel
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Kim L. (Park Ridge, IL)

I found this story to be a mix of a ghost story mixed with a mystery. It started off really strong and keep me interested, but the middle lagged a bit with a lot of extra detail that I could have skipped. Over all I enjoyed the story and the twist at the end.
Jennifer S. (Irving, TX)

Sun Down Motel
I am normally a Historical Fiction or Contemporary Fiction reader. This one was a little different for me and I found that I really enjoyed it. I like the way the author starts off the action right at the beginning of the book with the mysterious disappearance and then slowly revels what happens with the back and forth between the past and present characters. The characters were well developed and the story was delightfully spooky. Once I started the book I didn't want to put it down.

Very Satisfying Thriller
Mysteries and thrillers are some of my favorite books. It takes a deft hand and a bold imagination to not only conceive the idea but also a clever mind to patiently tease out the storyline while never losing sight of the journey that the reader is on. I thought the concept was quite original and especially liked that the pacing of the various plot lines never felt hurried. I very much liked the different timelines and appreciated that the author didn't bounce back and forth unnecessarily but only as it served the overall experience for the reader. The characters were well fleshed out and I found myself thinking about them afterwards which is, for me, one of the hallmarks of a talented author. I look forward to reading more from her.
Ruthie A. (Jersey City, NJ)

Surprisingly Good
I have to admit - I was not sold on this book right away. It is written with alternating narrators from different eras, something that is becoming very common and, for me, boring. The mystery seemed like it would unfold predictably and I was sure I knew within the first chapter who did what to whom. Happily I was wrong! The characters were fairly well developed even though their motivations were not entirely believable. Background details were sketchy and relationships were not well explored. Some characters could have been fleshed out more, yet In spite of that, I was very engaged - it was a hard book to put down! Being accustomed to books showcasing the differences between the way women were treated in the past compared to now, it was refreshing to read a book that showed the strides women have made even since the 1980's. Halfway through I had figured out the mystery, however that really didn't take away from my enjoyment of the novel. On a minor note -
I am hoping that the cover art is changed - the book repeatedly mentions a blue sign - on the cover it is red, and the fact that the motel has 2 stories while the cover shows a single story motel - rather careless....
A fun, fast easy read!
JW Davis, CA

A good ghost story
In general, this was a good mystery/ghost story. I found the past-present format a bit annoying, but understand why the author did this. It's just not my favorite way to read a story.
This was not a literary book but the writing and premise was sufficient to keep me going. Most of it was believable and with further editing, it should turn out well.
I have not read "The Broken Girls" but am curious enough to take it on.
Darcy C. (San Diego, CA)

A solid, engaging book. Read it!
I have revamped my review. Initially I was going to give this story a 3. It's a good, solid paranormal / mystery story. Why was I not completely satisfied? I guess I expected it to be edgier and more scary.

I realized that it was my own expectations of the story that made me think it wasn't a great book. This isn't a fair way to look at a story. So, in rethinking my review, I asked myself the following questions:

Did this story keep me engaged? Yes, it kept me completely under its spell and I read for 4 hours straight with no breaks other than to recharge my body or drinking glass. Now that's a tremendous benchmark of a very good story.

Did this story keep my engagement and involvement in the characters? Absolutely.

Did I care about the outcome and did I believe the story? Yes. Not 100 but a solid 85. This is another very good mark.

And this is the reason why I changed my rating from 3 to 4. I was expecting an edgier, noir story. The book was very thrilling in parts and I was immersed in these moments. (I haven't outlined the story because you can read this in other people's reviews which have more skill with reviewing.)

This is a solid and pleasurable novel. I even passed the book on to my next door neighbor and she enjoyed it thoroughly! So, that's two for two -- and that's a pretty darn good book. Enjoy
Marjorie W. (Naples, FL)

The Sun Down Motel
I coundn't put this one down - made my skin crawl! If you enjoy a good mystery along with a "scary" story, this is one for you. Trying to solve the mystery of her aunt's disappearance 35 years ago, Carly relives the life her aunt was persuing wgen she suddenly disappeared, A good story.
Chris R., Lake County Public Library, IN

Creepy, paranormal mystery
The Sun-Down is a place that time forgot -- but its ghosts have not. Two young women are determined to uncover the motel's secrets. Even though their stories occur 35 years apart, the similarity of their personalities, surroundings, and activities sometimes blurs the dual narratives. Nonetheless, the plot is clever and packed with impressive amateur detecting. The author pushes too hard at the idea that young women are easy prey for evil men but, she's not wrong! Though not as compelling as her previous novel, The Broken Girls, the blend of mystery and horror in The Sun Down Motel is suspenseful and creepy enough to satisfy most readers of either genre.

Beyond the Book:
  The American Roadside Motel

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Second Place
    Second Place
    by Rachel Cusk
    Rachel Cusk's Outline trilogy drew much of its substance from monologues and dialogues that swirled ...
  • Book Jacket: The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    by Julietta Henderson
    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman is the comedic debut novel of writer Julietta Henderson. It ...
  • Book Jacket: In Search of a Kingdom
    In Search of a Kingdom
    by Laurence Bergreen
    The Age of Exploration in the early modern period, lasting roughly from the 15th through 16th ...
  • Book Jacket: Under a White Sky
    Under a White Sky
    by Elizabeth Kolbert
    You can never go back home...so the saying goes. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Girl in His Shadow
by Audrey Blake
The story of one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world believed in her.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Crossing the River
    by Carol Smith

    A powerful exploration of grief that combines memoir, reportage, and lessons in how to heal.

  • Book Jacket

    by Jennifer Saint

    A mesmerizing debut novel about Ariadne, Princess of Crete for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

Who Said...

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading, you wish the author that wrote it was a ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!


Solve this clue:

A S I T closet

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.