Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: ghosts, murder, death, mental health, disappearances, assault, stalking.
Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Yet again, Simone St. James has nailed creepy ghost story.
The dual timeline begins in 1982, where Vivian Delaney finds herself landing in small town Fell, NY, and working at a the eerie Sun Down Motel off Old Number Six Road as the night clerk. It doesn’t take long for Viv to realize the motel is haunted, and delving into the morbid recent events of the town, she learns just who their identities are. The more she finds out about the murders happening in Fell, the more determined she is to put a stop to it, before she becomes the next victim.
Thirty five years later, in 2017, Carly Kirk is determined to get answers. Her mother never uttered a word about the disappearance of her sister, Vivian, and now Carly wants to uncover the truth in her family’s past, once and for all. She begins retracing the steps her aunt took- living in her old apartment, working nights at the Sun Down… anything she can do to help figure out why her aunt disappeared all those years ago. However, the deeper she dives in the historical paper stacks in the Fell library, the more dead bodies she discovers.
St. James wrote another page-turner that scared me *just* the right amount. Although there was a lot of repetitive discoveries and information shown due to the dual timeline, I enjoyed the way the story unfolded. The mystery was more focused on Viv’s disappearance and less on the murder suspect, which I appreciated- it felt more realistic from Carly’s standpoint, making the dual timeline conclusion climactic, rather than a way to unravel two stories and make them converge at the end. I don’t want to say too much and give things away, but I will say the conclusion was satisfying and I enjoyed the supporting character’s and their roles in the novel as well.
Overall, I would certainly recommend the read, and if you loved The Broken Girls, you’ll definitely love The Sun Down Motel.
Expected Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
TL/DR: The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James is a ghost story meets murder mystery novel, with dual timelines set in 1982 and 2017.
Read it? Definitely!
Recommend it? Yes, to anyone who loves spooky reads, dual timelines, or murder mysteries.
Buy it? I definitely want my own copy!
If you liked this novel or review, check out these similar reads:
- The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
- The Invited by Jennifer McMahon
- ….or anything by Jennifer McMahon