Tag Archives: Serial Killer

Review: The Stowaway

The Stowaway

The Stowaway
By James S. Murray & Darren Wearmouth
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250263650, September 2021, 320pp.

The Short of It:

Gruesome, but oddly entertaining.

The Rest of It:

Two years ago, Maria Fontana, the head of the Psychology Department at Columbia University, sat on a jury for one of the most depraved cases ever to pass through the hallowed halls of City Hall. ~ Indiebound

The set-up is very good. Maria’s role on that jury comes back to haunt her and her family as they are vacationing on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. Maria and her fiancé are trying to put the events of the past behind them while getting a little R&R with Maria’s young children in tow. But things suddenly take a dangerous turn on the ship when people turn up dead. People, mostly, young children. How can this be? Could the man on trial, Wyatt Butler have a copycat?

Maria spent a lot of time reviewing the evidence of that case. All the gruesome photos of Butler’s young victims. Plus, her background in Psychology gives her enough info to know how these serial killers work, but could there really be a copycat on board? Why? What is he after?

This book is a classic example of being trapped with no place to run. It’s a ship but there are only so many places to hide and Maria’s knowledge of the case and what this killer is capable of keeps the story flowing at a breakneck pace. I really enjoyed this one. I read it in one sitting and could not put it down for long.


It’s gruesome. The crime scenes are very graphic. It seemed somewhat tolerable only because the killings are not in real time. As readers, we only hear of the aftermath but it’s children, which is a bit hard to swallow. Many of you warned me about how graphic it was but it was done well-enough that it didn’t keep me from frantically turning those pages.

If you need something a little different, something that is hard to put down and you don’t mind the graphic nature of these killings, then I highly recommend it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Sun Down Motel

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.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.