Review: The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…


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My Thoughts:


In remote Fell, New York, the Sun Down Motel awaits weary travelers, and each night, the occupancy swells to include a few specters with unfinished business.  Can anyone else smell the faint aroma of cigarette smoke or hear the doors opening and closing?

In 1982 Viv Delaney finds herself in Fell, New York and takes a job as the night clerk at The Sun Down Motel.  Some thirty-five years later, her niece, Carly, takes the same job at the motel.  However, it is not a coincidence.  Carly is searching for answers to her aunt’s disappearance.

I enjoyed the two strong female lead characters in this dual- POV, dual-timeline mystery.  The author created two similar characters but gave them each a distinct voice making them entwined and distinctly interesting. Simone St. James’ evocative writing creates an incredible sinister atmosphere.  From start to finish the eerie sense of foreboding is palpable.  The descriptions of upstate New York made me feel like I had visited the area.

Gothic mystery or horror? The Sun Down Motel is a not-so-cozy cold-case mystery investigated by the missing woman’s niece more than thirty years after the fact.


About the Author: Simone St. James is the award-winning author of The Broken Girls and The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives outside Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled cat.


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