Book Review

THE SUN DOWN MOTEL by Simone St. James (Out 2/18/2020)

Publication Date: 2/18/2020

Rating: 5 / 5

I received a complimentary advanced ebook copy of THE SUN DOWN MOTEL by Simone St. James. Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley Publishing for the chance to read and provide an honest review.

THE SUN DOWN MOTEL is a book that I had seen a bit on Instagram and it immediately intrigued me. Simone St. James’ 2018 book release is high on my wish list after it got many recommendations when I said I was looking for a spooky review, so I was excited to get a copy of her upcoming release to participate in a binge buddy read with some lovely folks on bookstagram!

The Sun Down Motel is a place that has more than its share of secrets. It is a run down location serving those in need of a room to stay in for a day or two, catering to those down on their luck and not able to afford something much better. In 1982, Viv Delaney is working at the hotel on the night shift, checking in the traveling salesmen, drug dealers and others who arrive in the middle of the night. One evening in the midst of a lot of turmoil, Viv suddenly goes missing and is never found.

In present day, Viv’s niece Carly is taking a break from school in the wake of her mother’s recent loss to cancer. Always a fan of true crime, Carly is intrigued by the mystery in her own family’s past and goes to Fell, New York to do a little poking around. Much like her aunt before her, Carly gets a job at the Sun Down and begins to experience the motel’s peculiar nature. It isn’t clear what is haunting the haunted motel, but Carly is determined to figure out that mystery and the answers to what happened to her aunt.

This book is told in two timelines, that of Viv in the days leading up to her disappearance and Carly’s time from her coming to Fell to investigate. The way their stories ran in parallel in many ways was wonderfully done, I thought. It was interesting to see how the two characters who were looking into very similar things got different responses from the people they’re talking to. Is it a difference of perspective nearly 30 years after the original sequence of events or are there other reasons at play?

I am a big thriller/horror reader and not much scares me anymore, but this book brought some really chilling moments out as the haunting at the motel gets underway. Knowing that this is a somewhat isolated site with very few people present in the middle of the night makes it the perfect spooky setting. Both timelines kept my attention and kept me flipping pages to uncover the mystery at play!

If you are looking for a good, spooky read, this absolutely a book you’ll want to check out when it is released on February 18, 2020!

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