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The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
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The Sun Down Motel (edition 2020)

by Simone St. James (Author)

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1159165,463 (4.17)4
"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 there. Upstate NY, 2017. Carly Kirk has always been fascinated by her aunt Viv who disappeared from the Sun Down before Carly was born. Using a small inheritance from when her mom dies, Carly leaves college to go to Fell to figure out what happened to her aunt thirty-five years ago. Soon, Carly is mirroring her aunt's life, working as the night clerk at the motel, which hasn't changed since 1982. The guest book is still handwritten, the rooms still have actual keys, and a haunting presence still lingers. Carly discovers that Viv had been trying to unravel mysteries of her own--including a possible serial killer working in Fell. If Carly can find the answers Viv was searching for, she might be able to solve the mystery that has haunted her family for years"--… (more)
Member:scottsdalebookgirl
Title:The Sun Down Motel
Authors:Simone St. James (Author)
Info:Berkley (2020), 336 pages
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The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This is the third book I have read by this author. It is another five star read. I can't get enough of reading books by this author. Ms. St. James has found the a winning formula with her books...engaging characters and intriguing storylines.

Instantly, I was drawn into this book. This book is toward from two different angles...the past and the present. The voices are Vi and Carly. Carly is investigating the disappearance of her Aunt. What happened so many years ago at the Sun Down Motel?

I was really with paranormal/ghostly vibes that this book gave off. It kind of reminded me of the movies, 1408 starring John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson and Identity starring John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, and John Hawkes. Both movies take place in hotels. What they both have in common besides the location is that both movies are psychological thrillers that will play tricks with your mind. That is what happened with me while reading this book. Book your reservation at the Sun Down Motel as this book is a must read! ( )
  Cherylk | Feb 16, 2020 |
3.5 stars rounded up.

I know that this is a horror novel and logic doesn't usually come into play with these types of books, but I can't help feeling like through most of this book I just wanted to scream at Carly and especially Viv to get the heck out of the Sun Down Motel. Have you ever seen a grade B horror movie? ---->
("A B movie is any film that isn't created for an art house scene, but has a low budget. But that's not all that sets this type of movie apart, particularly when it comes to the horror genre. Most B-horror movies feature bad special effects, far-fetched storylines, and lackluster performances from their stars.")

Well, that's all I thought about with this book. It was mostly a very bad grade B horror movie. I just wanted to smack the women for their idiocy in staying where it was so dangerous. However, I'm glad I kept on reading because the ending was worth the torture.

This book is going to appeal to many people if they can dismiss logic and they like historical things from the '80s (I do because I lived that era!).

What many readers may not like is the constant switching from the 1980s to 2017 - just when things get interesting the author gets clever (and I mean that in a nice way) and switches time and person.
The ending was super and really took me by surprise.

*ARC supplied by the publisher. ( )
  Cats57 | Feb 9, 2020 |
This dual timeline story is filled with ghosts, terror, and mystery.

In 1982 Viv Delaney leaves home after one more argument with her mother. Her stated goal is to go to New York to become an actress. However, she get sidetracked in Fell, New York, where she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel never knowing what horror she will soon be involved with.

In 2017, Carly Kirk goes looking for her Aunt Viv who disappeared in 1982 without a trace from Fell, New York. Viv has always been the mystery her mother didn't want to talk about. Now, after her mother's death from cancer, Carly quits the college course she wasn't enjoying anyway and travels to Fell to see if she can discover what happened all those years ago.

Back in 1982, Viv soon discovers that the motel is haunted by a woman whose body was left at the site when it was a construction site, a boy who hit his head in the pool and died a couple of days later, and by the former night clerk who died of a heart attack. Viv also learns that the woman who was found on the site wasn't the only woman to die in town. It appears there is a serial killer who is targeting Fell.

As Viv investigates she comes to believe that she has discovered who the killer is. When she takes her findings to Officer Alma Trent, who is the only woman on the force and relegated to a permanent position on the night shift, Trent doesn't quite believe her. So Viv keeps investigating and soon meets Marnie who is a freelance photographer hired to take pictures of a couple meeting frequently at the motel for illicit purpose.

Meanwhile in 2017, Carly takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel which doesn't seem to have changed one bit since her aunt had the same job. She begins her investigation by reading old newspaper articles in the library archives and gains information from her new roommate who had a strong interest in the various crimes that were part of Fell's history. She meets Callum in the archives who has his own interest in Fell's past and Nick Harkness who is staying at the motel and is linked to a much more recent crime in Fell.

As Carly and her roommate try to track down those who were part of Viv's past - Alma and Marnie - they soon learn that both seem to be keeping secrets and being less that forthright about their roles in the past events. And all the while, Carly is meeting the same ghosts who haunted Viv.

The story had a very eerie vibe in the beginning but switched to more of a mystery in the last half of the book. It was very descriptive and very creepy. I liked the story and thought it was well told. However, I decided that I could only read it in the daytime and I crossed motel night clerk off my list of potential jobs.

Fans of creepy thrillers with vengeful ghosts will definitely enjoy this mystery. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jan 28, 2020 |
Free review copy 10/30/2019. Have not received as of 1/28/2020.
  Gmomaj | Jan 28, 2020 |
A mixture of horror and mystery, set in two different timelines. A broken down hotel, where it seems the dead live on as the living continue hunting, both for answers and victims. Atmospheric in parts, it did initially pull me into the hunt. Trouble is, I felt it was too scattered, repetitive in places, went on too long, storyline dragged in places and everything but the kitchen sink was thrown into the plot. Another case where less would have been better.

ARC from Edelweiss. ( )
  Beamis12 | Jan 22, 2020 |
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