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The Sun Down Motel

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,593 ratings  ·  508 reviews
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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 18th 2020 by Berkley
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Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Twilight zone’s intro music blasting out in my mind: nananana!!!! I’m in the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition and I’m at the dimension of imagination….Nanana!!!

I cannot sleep! I cannot move! I cannot breathe! When I was younger so much younger than today I never needed anybody’s help in anyway but even all ghost members of Beatles cannot save me! I’m numb, terrified! I’m speechless! I’m about to do something in my pants but I don’t! I barely hold myself!
Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Creepy Spooky Stars

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…

I loved this book. I did love The Broken Girls by this
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Dark, Ghostly, & So Good!

Something strange is going on at The Sun Down Motel.

In 1982, 20-year-old Vivian Delaney stumbles upon a job opening as the night shift clerk at The Sun Down Motel, located in eerie Fell, New York. During her shifts, Vivian begins to notice some inexplicable occurrences at the rundown motel: doors randomly opening and closing, strange phone calls, the smell of cigarette smoke when no one is present. It seems that the Sun Down is haunted. Making things even more
Chelsea Humphrey
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: Berkley Publishing Group
Shelves: from-publisher
The night it all ended, Vivian was alone... She felt like crying. She felt like screaming. She felt sick.
"I don't want to go in there. But I will. Because I always do."

Obviously flashy psychological thrillers are still trendy, but have you ever picked up a mystery that is simply well-written, to the point where you can just bask in that book's quiet glory and subtle power? That's precisely how I felt regarding The Sun Down Motel. It's receiving copious amounts of hype, and rightly so, due to
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
"I ain't afraid of no Ghost"

I don't know why upon finishing this book, I could not get Ray Parker Jr.'s theme song for Ghostbusters out of my head. "If there is something weird and it don't look good..." Thank you Simon St. James for that earworm and of course, for writing such an engrossing, creepy, haunting and riveting book.

The Sun Down Motel - an old Motel with secrets, ghosts and a dark tale to tell. Some get a room to sell drugs, some to drink themselves into oblivion, some to have a
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4.5 stars!

A dark, engrossing, chilling, gothic, suspenseful, atmospheric, mysterious thriller! Loved it!!!

After her mother’s death, Carly moves to the small town of Fell, to investigate the disappearance of her mothers sister, Vivian. Decades earlier, Carly’s aunt Vivian took a job as the night clerk at the remote Sun Down Motel. Unexplained strange things happen at this motel including the disappearance of Vivian from her shift one night. Police investigation provides no answers as to what
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
My first introduction to Simone St. James was reading her previous novel The Broken Girls, it was one of my top 10 books last year. I went into this with a crazy amount of anticipation and hoping been another 5* read.

The novel revolves around a young woman, Carly, searching for the answer for why her long dead aunt Vivian disappeared. The family never felt any kind of closure because her body was never found. She just vanished one night during her late night shift working at reception in The Sun
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss-arc-s
Can well all just take a moment and appreciate the perfection that is this cover???

So, so stunning.

Now let me tell you why you all need to go out and grab a copy of this! Not only is Simone St. James an incredibly talented writer but she likes to get her spooky on and I'm a spooky kind of gal. My only regret is that I should have waited until closer to Halloween to sink my teeth into this one but patience is not a virtue of mine and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Like in her previous book (the
You know those rundown , L-shaped motels that you pass on road trips, despite the fact that you are so bone tired, that you are not sure that you could drive another mile...

The ones with the buzzing signs, that blink, Vacancy! Cable TV!


Welcome to the Sun Down Motel!

Located in Fell, a small town in upstate, NY- A town too small to have this many DEAD GIRLS.

Viv Delaney was just passing through in 1982. Running out of money before she could reach New York City, with dreams
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: botm, favorites
OMG I am speechless! Well not really..but can I give this book 10 stars??!!! Adding this to my list of all time favorite thrillers. Yes, it was that good. So many good things about this book, where do I even start?

I think what made this book so special was the feelings it gave me. The creepy, chills down my spine- feelings I had the entire book! I am not sure how an author can manage to spin such an atmospheric feel with words that you are entirely caught up in the whole vibe. How is this really
BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
A stunning cover, an unsolved mystery and a motel harboring both secrets and ghosts = another winning read by Simone St. James!

I absolutely devoured this book and with good reason. Once you start reading, you just can't stop! It's such a page turner!!! Simone St. James has captured all those creepy thoughts we all have about those roadside, seedy looking motels and turned things ALL the way up. Talk about a place you want to run far away from!

The story is told via 2 POVs. The past - it's 1982
Holly  B
This old, seedy roadside motel setting had me running to grab this one!

This creepy, haunted motel has a past that it won't let go... slamming doors, traveling salesmen, and many unanswered questions.

I loved the atmospheric setting and couldn't help but think of the Bates Motel. The same type of place you wouldn't necessarily want to check into! I was also picturing the Scooby Doo van about to roll up at any moment to help this girl Carly out.

The two timelines meshed together to solve a 35 year
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
As crazy as it sounds for two young women, in different times, to work at a motel that they know is haunted, I have friends who would jump at a chance to do so. Those friends are both true crime buffs and also interested in the paranormal. I have similar interests but will go only so far as to read about such things, whereas the two main characters in this book dove right into the heart of the crime and ghost mysteries.

The town of Fell, NY is a place stuck in the past. Even when Viv, the first
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m not typically a fan of ghost stories or stories involving the supernatural but St. James gets me every time. Once again, I was reading at night while home alone and nearly jumped out of my skin each time my phone pinged with an incoming text. A dual timeline moves between 1982 and 2017 and tells the story of a missing Aunt whose niece is determined to find out what happened. Throw in murdered girls and a sleazy motel that attracts denizens from the seedy side of life not to mention ...more
Aug 18, 2019 marked it as to-read
Things I love:

1. Simone St. James.
2. This cover.
3. The fact that this is coming out in just a few months.

Give it to me!!!

...and just like that, thank you so much for my ARC, Berkley!

You are too good to me and I love it!!!!

Norma * Traveling Sister and proud Grandma!!!
Spooky, spine-tingling suspense, and creepy!

THE SUN DOWN MOTEL by SIMONE ST. JAMES is an engrossing, dark, gripping, chilling, and fabulous gothic mystery/thriller that I was immediately drawn into. I was totally immersed in this tale and completely devoured the supernatural aspects in this story. The story was so darn entertaining with that creepy and eerie haunted motel setting that I found this to be absolutely irresistible and un-put-down-able!!!!

SIMONE ST. JAMES delivers quite the
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“This place is dark.”

“Some of us like the dark. It’s what we know.”

Me immediately prior to reading this book . . . .

If you follow my reviews, you know I’ve been kind of in a book slump – especially when it comes to wrongreading giant hits that everyone else all over the intertubes have been loving. I attempted to lower my expectations before starting this one (I didn’t fall head-over-heels for The Broken Girls so I was trying to
While I loved that the author dedicated the book to Murderinos (a term coined for fans of the podcast My Favorite Murder), and the protagonist is a fan of true crime, the book was still not for me.

I think this would work well for those readers looking for a campy B movie type thriller. You know, the kind where you totally suspend disbelief and spend the entire movie yelling at the amateur sleuth MC for doing stupid things. But you love it anyway.
And you can accept ghosts. A lot of ghosts. That
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
So incredibly creepy on many different levels - a perfect spooky read!

Exquisite storytelling per usual, however the plot line is a bit of a departure for Ms.St. James (not in a bad way! Just a bit unexpected.) We have the usual ghost story in combination with what’s happening in the land of the living, however there is a bit more crime violence than expected.

This dual timeline story is one that will leave you fascinated, stumped, and oh-so-creeped out. So very cinematic, this could easily be a
Brenda -Traveling Sister
Hot spooky dang that was good!! Now that's good storytelling!!! A good creepy yet entertaining ghost story, a mystery and the best creepy setting ever that comes alive and pulls you right into it! I loved it all!! And what a cover!!!

This is one not to be missed!!!

This book should’ve been right up my alley - I loved The Broken Girls and I typically LOVE spooky thrillers that have paranormal vibes, but it took me days to finish this book which usually doesn’t happen for thrillers and I just didn’t care about these characters.

I felt like a lot of the story was really repetitive because we follow Viv in the 1980’s and then her niece Carly in 2017, and it was kind of hard to tell their chapters apart. I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style because
Theresa Alan
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the first book I read by Simone St. James called The Broken Girls. The Sun Down Motel has similar themes to that novel in that once again, you’ll need to suspend disbelief and believe in ghosts. It’s also told in a similar way by alternating chapters and points of view.

In 1982, Vivian is twenty years old and, just to get away from home, runs to New York City, except she’s waylaid by the creepy guy who offered her a ride and insists on getting out before he can do more than put
While I loved this author's first book, Broken Girls, this current one held little appeal to me. I love a ghost story but this one seemed to border on the ridiculous and seemed to be channeling at times The Sixth Sense. Still in search for that great ghost tale.
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Siobhan Jones

I try not to make grandiose predictions, but if The Sun Down Motel is any indication of the quality of thrillers we can look forward to in 2020, then we are on the cusp of a very, very good year for reading. Simone St. James has crafted a winning recipe: start with a nod to the Stephen King small-town setting, add a pinch of domestic suspense, throw in a dash of amateur sleuthing, and stir until the spirits slither out.

Carly is a young woman on the hunt for her aunt,
Lisa Zetes
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this book, it was really fast paced and spooky.

Carly is a young College student who's mom passes away from cancer. But her mom always mourned her sister Viv who left thirty five years ago and never heard from her again. So Carly decides she's going to Fell, Ny to find out what happened to her Aunt Viv. Carly decides to take a job at the motel her Aunt worked in Fell, Ny The Sun Down Motel. And so begins her investigation where she's trying to find out about her aunt but then also dealing
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
4.5 creepy motel stars

This was my first Simone St. James book and now I am a fan! Two alternating storylines track Vivian, working the night shift at The Sun Down Motel, and her niece Carly, determined to get to the bottom of her aunt’s disappearance 35 years ago. Set in Fell, a small town in upstate New York, that seems to have more than its fair share of murdered girls.

The motel seems to be haunted and I kept thinking – get out of there – while all the creepy events swirl around these two
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
5 Stars!

YES! This is the thrill i've been looking for. I could not put this book down!

Fell is a small town in New York but it comes with a lot of baggage. Years ago, there was a string of women who were murdered. However, they weren't all solved. Viv worked the overnight shift at the Sun Down Motel in hopes to make some money when trying to relocate to NYC. Viv starts to hear and see some super natural things when working the night shift. As she goes on to explore with the help of a few others
Jillian Doherty
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
wow wow WOW!

I loved The Broken Girls, the first novel we sold from Simone St James - original and page-turning story-telling that has the perfect combination of investigative narrative, and hauntingly creepy atmospheric writing.

Now! In her new February release she ups the anti~ both Viv and Carly's voices are spot on; their stories are artfully meshed throughout the book, making it very hard stop reading!

I love how firm the plot is, while maintaining her spooky, yet historically driven
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers copy of this book thanks to the publishers at Berkley and Goodreads. I would have finished this book in one day but felt the need to savor the ending since the story blew me away. Even though the story is written through two different characters viewpoints and time periods it is easy to follow and get lost in the plot that involves ghosts, suspense, and murder. I recommend this book to everyone!
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-releases
Yes! This had everything my murderino heart desires in a good crime novel/thriller. It took me a bit to get into the alternating timelines- we go between 1982 and 2017 and the girls’ experiences are so similar I had trouble keeping things straight- but once I got over the hump, I was all in. I loved how we’d find something out in one timeline and watch as the other character figured things out in the other. This story is clever and very well crafted- Fell and The Sun Down Motel are creepy as ...more
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Simone St. James is the award-winning author of The Broken Girls and The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write ...more

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