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The Sun Down Motel

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  188 ratings  ·  122 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 to
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 18th 2020 by Berkley
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  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
    The Sun Down Motel
    Release date: Feb 18, 2020
    Something hasn’t been right at the roadside Sun Down Motel for a very long time, and Carly Kirk is about to find out why in this chilling new novel fr ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 50 copies available, 5190 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Nov 07 - Nov 24, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Average rating 4.34  · 
    Rating details
     ·  188 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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    Start your review of The Sun Down Motel
    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 dram/>Something
    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
    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 ho
    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 previou
    Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    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!

    The REALLY CREEPY ones?

    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 cou
    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 receptio
    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 old mmany
    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!!!!

    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 apparitio ...more
    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
    Chelsea Humphrey
    Sep 11, 2019 marked it as to-read
    Recommended to Chelsea by: Berkley Publishing Group
    Shelves: from-publisher
    I'm getting some serious Bad Times at the El Royale vibes here and I'm not mad about. Holy gorgeous cover + eerie vibes!

    *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
    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 be realistic), but damn the cover alone had me like “Hey
    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
    Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends
    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!!!

    Lindsay - Traveling Sister
    Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    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
    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.
    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 a
    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 an
    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 swi
    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 narrat
    Simone St. James has done it again, folks! After reading her memorizing book, The Broken Girls last year, I was more than excited to find out that she has another book coming out next year—the ominous and enticing The Sun Down Motel ! Ms. St. James obviously has a fool-proof strategy when it comes to dark, gothic noir mystery novels because this book was so fun to read. It follows in the same vein of The Broken Girls, but located in Upstate New York, and it's much, much darker. I definitely got American Horror ...more
    Laura • lauralovestoread
    ALL THE STARS! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Wow wow wow I love this book so much and I want to gush about it but I can’t because it comes out in February. You want a book with ghosts? Look no further!

    I read The Broken Girls last year and loved it for the paranormal elements, so I was highly anticipating this upcoming release.

    I haven’t been able to stop thinking about The Sun Down Motel since I read it a few days ago. A badass heroine, dual timelines, ghosts, one of the creepiest atmospheres, and layers of
    Cassie-Traveling Sister-
    Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Oh my gosh this book is everything!! It was a mistake for me to say I’m just going to start the first chapter before bed, because I could not put this book down! I was lost in each characters story and I needed to know more! Alternating point of views just added more to the story line! Viv has just left home it’s 1982 and her parents just divorced she’s hoping to move to New York to become an actress. After hitchhiking she ends up at in Fell New York. She takes a job as a night clerk at The Sun ...more
    Jamie beauty_andthebook_
    Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: arcs
    Dual timelines, a mystery in the present and the past, interesting characters, building suspense - what more could you want from a thriller?! For my friends who are not ghost people - it’s a small component here and I normally don’t read supernatural elements and I loved this one - so don’t let that deter you! The writing is strong, the plot is captivating & you won’t want to put this one down. It’s coming in February so do yourself a favor and preorder a copy now 🤩.

    Thank you to
    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    This was a perfect spooky fall read! Full review to come closer to release date.
    Sep 09, 2019 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: to-order
    A book set in a motel in 1982, the year I was born? Yes please.
    Cindy Burnett
    Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I have not stopped telling people about it since I finished it. First, the cover is the about the coolest cover I have ever seen. Second, the book is simply fantastic; I absolutely loved it. The pacing is perfect; it’s awesomely creepy but not overly scary; and it is one of the best books I have read in a while. Her characters are so well developed, and I rooted for both Viv and Carly as they sought to determine what was haunting The Sun Down Motel. I could talk about it fo ...more
    Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    In the summer of 1982, Viv Delaney is desperate for a fresh start. She’s headed for NYC but somehow ends up in a small town called Fell in Upstate New York instead. 20-year old Viv takes a job the Sun Down Motel working the night shift. But on her very first night there, Viv realizes this isn't some normal motel—doors swing open by themselves, the lights randomly go out and worst of all, Viv sees people who aren’t there. This spurs Viv to look into the motel’s history. And that’s when she discov ...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 full-time ...more