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Reader reviews and comments on The Sun Down Motel, plus links to write your own review.

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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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  • Published:
    Feb 2020, 336 pages


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The Sun Down Motel
If you like a creepy thriller that you can't put down, this is the book for you. The story is alternatively told between two characters, Carly in 2017 and her Aunt Viv in 1982, who has been missing since then. Haunted by the disappearance of her Aunt Viv, Carly travels to Fell, New York to find the truth about what happened. Carly ends up working as the night clerk at the Sun Down Hotel, the same job her aunt had thirty-five years earlier. The same eerie things happen to both of them while working there, involving murders and the supernatural. After finding out what each discovers along the way, the whole thing comes together in a very calamitous ending.
Peggy T. (Richardson, TX)

Vacancy! Cable TV!
As a fan of Simone St James, I was not sure I would like this book as much as the previous books of hers that I have read because the others were all set in the period between WWI and WWII. That time period seems a better milieu for her ghostly gothic novels.

However, within about 15 pages of reading, I was hooked on this one too. I could not put it down and I was totally taken in by the twist at the ending. Very satisfying read.
Catharine L. (Petoskey, MI)

Creepy Mystery
The book got off to a slow start but became a page turner. The setting is small town Fell, NY. The chapters alternate between Viv in 1982 and her niece, Carly, in 2017, who is investigating the disappearance of her aunt. In my opinion , the ghostly inhabitants of the motel did not add to the plot, and the creepy door-to-door salesman character should have been more developed. All in all, the book was entertaining - a good fall/winter read.
Ian M., McFarland, Wisconsin

Two Great Mysteries in One Spooky Motel
The Sun Down Motel is a quick and enjoyable read that will appeal to baby boomers and millennials.

The novel consists of two converging mysteries taking place at the eponymous motel, 35 years apart. St. James is adept at jumping back-and-forth between the two mysteries to keep the reader invested in both.

Several major characters are a bit shallow, the supernatural elements are more icing than cake, and the ending is a bit anticlimactic. Yet, these flaws don't spoil the read.

Sun Down Motel is fun and engaging. A great page-turner and a solid recommend.
Madeline M (Florida)

Haunted and Haunting
I so enjoy the work of Ms. St. James, and I was thrilled to get my hands on an ARC of her newest novel. Creepy scenes had me looking up from the page to make sure I was actually alone in the room, while other moments had me thinking about all the lost girls in the world.

I did struggle with connecting to the present day storyline and the POV character. However, the past storyline and the POV character of Vivian Delaney were utterly haunting.
Jeff M. (Somerset, NJ)

The Sun Down Motel
An interesting mystery with a supernatural element included. With chapters alternating between 1982 and 2017, the story revolves around The Sun Down Motel (definitely not a AAA rated facility!) as Carly seeks to find out what happened to her aunt, who disappeared from the motel in 1982. The two sets of stories converge at the end for a satisfactory resolution. The story is well-written, the pace is quick, characters are developed sufficiently and has a decent level of suspense. I will admit that I did stay up past 1 AM one evening to finish the book. Even if you are not into stories with paranormal effects, there is enough of a mystery to keep the interest of all readers. Overall, I would recommend the book.
Carolyn L. (Summerville, SC)

The Sun Down Motel
I found this book to be mildly entertaining, but not unputdownable. I became frustrated at times with certain characters actions (or inactions), and I really questioned some of the legal ramifications near the end of the story (It's hard to be specific without giving a spoiler.) Cannot heartily endorse this one, but it isn't terrible.
Vicki C. (Franklin, TN)

The Sun Down Motel
The Sun Down Motel was an interesting and easy read as well as being entertaining. There is a strong supernatural current that runs through the book and is, in fact, necessary given the literary device used by St. James. She writes the book from the perspective of two women, related to one another, but separated by about thirty odd years. The main characters are interesting if a little bit expected. I would recommend this book as a light read when you don't want to have to really concentrate to follow the story but still want to be entertained.

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