The Sun Down Motel
By Simone St. James
Berkley, 9780440000174, February 2020, 336pp.
The Short of It:
This story was good, spooky fun.
The Rest of It:
The Sun Down Motel is a run down motel that’s stuck in the 80s. It’s the type of motel people stay at when they are up to no good, or want to disappear for awhile. Vivian Delaney gets a job as the night clerk and after a few terrifying experiences, and the appearance of ghosts, she does a little digging and realizes that the motel is housing some secrets of its own.
Just when she is beginning to figure it all out, she goes missing. Never to be found with no closure for her family at all.
Fast forward 35 years. Carly, the niece of Vivian Delaney watched her own mother die without any closure for Vivian’s death. Although the two sisters were not close, it bothered Carly that a person could just go missing, without a trace so she decides to investigate on her own which lands her a job at the very same motel. Nothing has changed at the Sun Down. Not the decor, not the emptiness of its rooms, or the dead people that come out at night to roam its floors.
This book was so good and lots of fun to read. There is a supernatural element, a mystery to solve, a serial killer and the creepiness of the motel itself made for some fun bedtime reading. I normally don’t like stories that jump from the past to the present but this was handled so well and I literally read at a snail’s pace because I didn’t want it to end.
One other thing I really enjoyed is that the story is peppered with Stephen King references, his books mainly. I counted at least five. If you enjoy that sort of thing you will be giddy with happiness when you discover another mention. Simone St. James must be a huge fan.
I had not read this author before but I happen to have her previous book on my Kindle, The Broken Girls. Have you read either one? I highly recommend The Sun Down Motel.
I read this for the R.I.P. Challenge.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.
16 thoughts on “Review: The Sun Down Motel”
Oh man, this sounds GREAT but I can’t read anything with serial killers in (too scary! too real! hahahah). If you do read something else by this author, I will be interested to hear about it and maybe start there!
I read this a while ago….it was a Book of the Month selection. I didn’t love it, but it is totally out of the general type of book I read. It did keep me turning pages, though.
Oh, I’m glad to hear what you thought of The Sun Down Motel. I’ve had it on my Kindle since it came out, but not read as yet. I’ll get to it and will love the King references in it. Yes, I’ve read The Broken Girls and wrote about it in March of 2018. I liked it a lot, but didn’t go back and try the author’s earlier books. I think you’d like it as well. Boarding school, secrets, spooky…try it, you’ll like it! LOL
Don’t know what it is about boarding school stories but I am usually into them. I guess I didn’t have it on my Kindle after all and the library, three different systems don’t have Kindle versions, just epub. Bleh. I will try to pick it up used.
I loved this one a lot. It drew me in and kept me reading — met all my expectations and more.
Yes, I thought it was really well done and hit all the marks for me.
I have a copy of this – sounds great!
YES!! I really loved this book!
This sounds like a fun sort of scary. Still, it’s probably too scary for me. Just reading the phrase “serial killers” makes my heart drop to the floor.
It definitely falls into the “atmospheric” kind of scary.
This is next on my audio listen list!
Audio said to be good? I need to do better with marking my tbr when the book via audio is recommended. The story interests me… 🙂
Not sure about the audio but the print was definitely enjoyable for me.
I am not good at reading spooky books at night, I find they stick in my head and make it difficult to fall asleep. I do love the idea of references to King novels throughout!
That does sound like creepy fun. The cover too is priceless! I have not read the author before.
I really liked Sun Down. It was so retro and vibey and I liked how the author worked the two story lines. I usually don’t like dual narratives.