Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Sun Down Motel; Simone St. James



AUTHOR:  Simone St. James
PUBLISHER:  Berkley
PUB. YEAR: 2020
Setting: Fell, NY
Format: eGalley
Rating - 5/5

In 1982 Vivian Delaney was a young girl who hoped to make in big in New York City, but she ended up in small town Fell, NY taking a job on the night shift at The Sun Down Motel. Things never seemed right at the motel and on November 29, 1982, while working, Vivian seemed to vanish without a trace. 

Fast forward 35 years Carly Kirk's mother was Vivian's sister.  Carly's mother has died and would never talk about Vivian's disappearance. Carly is disillusioned with college and becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her aunt Vivian.  She leaves college in Illinois and moves to Fell, NY to try to find out more about what now seems to be a closed case. When she visits The Sun Down Motel, there is a night clerk vacancy, the same job Vivian held 35 years earlier. She gets the job and by day plays amateur detective. In the process she learns that small town Fells has had more than one unsolved cases. It's clear that bad things have happened at the Sun Down over the years and not too many people are anxious to talk about it. It's also clear, early on, that ghosts haunt the place.  Yes, the Sun Down Motel, built in the early 70s and now rundown, offers more than a cheap room. 

What will Carly uncover as she delves deeper?

The story alternates between Vivian in 1982 and Carly in 2017. Readers who enjoy atmospheric stories with a creepy Gothic feel, strong, gutsy female characters who support one another should read this book. This is an edge of your seat mystery. I loved that the motel seemed to come alive on the pages and that quite a lot of the action takes place there as well.  This story was so well crafted and had a satisfying ending as well.

Thanks go to Berkley Publishing and Edelweiss to allow me access to this eBook.

18 comments:

  1. This sounds good and I've been sitting on my copy for a long time. I have so many wonderful books to read. I got sidetracked by COVID news and could not focus but I think I am back on the horse again.

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    1. I hope you try this as I'd be curious to read your thoughts.

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  2. Great review, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  3. Sometimes creepy is cool, sounds good.

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  4. I like the whole feel of this one, and I almost always enjoy alternating chapters between different time periods, so this is one I'll take a look at for sure. Thanks.

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  5. I'm looking forward to reading this one. I really liked the author's previous book, The Broken Girls. That cover is very nostalgic. I remember when motels looked like that. LOL

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  6. This does sound captivating! The cover is nice and moody.

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  7. I’ve seen this one around and been interested in it. I love the cover. I’m glad you liked it.

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  8. I can't believe I still haven't read this author! I have got to read this book as I keep hearing such great things about it.

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  9. It's not as creepy as the Bates Motel is it? I just added this to my list.

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    1. Stacy, at times I thought of Bates Motel, it is creepy but not horror.

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  10. I've seen quite a few good reviews for this book and I love the cover!

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  11. Wow! 5/5 rating has me tempted, but I'm not reading a lot of creepy books these days. It sounds like it would make a great mini-series, though.

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  12. You had me until "ghosts." But, you give this 5 out of 5 so it must be done well.

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