Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sun Down Motel” as Want to Read:
The Sun Down Motel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Sun Down Motel

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  15,872 ratings  ·  3,146 reviews

Something hasnt 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 from the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Berkley
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Sun Down Motel, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Pamela It is available through "Book of the Month". That's how I got it. Plus there are people who get the book early to review it.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Sarah Wilkerson
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,872 ratings  ·  3,146 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Sun Down Motel
Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twilight zones intro music blasting out in my mind: nananana!!!! Im in the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition and Im 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 anybodys help in anyway but even all ghost members of Beatles cannot save me! Im numb, terrified! Im speechless! Im about to do something in my pants but I dont! I barely hold myself!
chai ♡
find this review & others on my blog

There is a video I came across on Twitter a couple months ago, of a woman giving other women tips on how to protect themselves and stay safe if they have to venture outside at night (complete with where to best hide a pepper spray, how to wield your keys like you would a knife, and how many clothes to layer on your body). There was urgency and fear in the womans voice, and a haunted, fatalistic quality in her eyes that struck such a fundamental chord
Miranda Reads
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miranda by: Tucker
Another Booktube video - this time all about the Top 10 Books of 2020 (so far) .

Now that you know this fabulous book made the list, check out the video to see the rest!

"Sun Down Motel, can I help you?"
Nothing. Just the faint sound of breathing.
There's a terrible secret hidden within the walls of the run down motel just outside of Fell, New York.

Thirty-five years ago, Viv Delaney began experiencing...disturbances during the night shift at the Sun Down Motel.

Ones that had her
Chelsea Humphrey
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mary Beth
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 author
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
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
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
"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
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
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4.5 stars!

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

After her mothers death, Carly moves to the small town of Fell, to investigate the disappearance of her mothers sister, Vivian. Decades earlier, Carlys 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
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
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thing that go bump in the night!

First things first - this was one of the most frightening books Ive read in a very long time. I know, I can hear everyones snickers out there! But I just cant handle horror. Paranormal scares the bejeebeezes out of me! And this book provided that in spades. Yet, I couldnt put it down!

Told in two timelines.
1982: Viv left home at a young age to become the next shining star in New York. The problem was she never made it as far as the Big Apple. Instead, she found

Creepy, chilling, atmospheric, brilliant. Bravo Simone St. James! This book will make you believe in ghosts. Lights turning on and off, doors opening and closing, the smell of cigarette smoke in the air, a hint of perfume, a woman in a floral dress telling you to run. After the death of her mother Carly heads to upstate New York with the intention of solving a family mystery. In 1982 Carlys aunt Vivian disappeared from the town of Fell, New York never to be seen
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Brenda -Traveling Sister
Boo Hah! Hot spooktacular Diggity dang that was one fa-boo-lous scary good read that had me shaking my boo-ty to the creepy good vibe to this story. (I know how many puns can I get in one sentence) Hehee! It is one not to be missed!

The Sun Down Motel is an exciting, gripping, entertaining supernatural thriller, with one of the best characters here with the setting that I have read. The rundown motel takes on a life of its own and had me wanting to pull the covers over my eyes while reading it.
Susanne  Strong
5 Stars

The Sun Down Motel is Some Kind of Creeptastic!

Fell, New York.

Summer 1982: When Vivian Delaney arrives at The Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York, in the Summer of 1982, she is offered a job as the Night Clerk. Little does she know the place is haunted. The pungent smell of cigarette smoke. Locked hotel room doors swinging open and shut at odd hours. A woman in a floral dress appearing in the middle of the night. A young boy roaming round.

When Vivian Delaney goes missing one night November
Available February 18, 2020

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
Things I love:

1. Simone St. James.
2. This cover.

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!!!!

Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tucker by: Miranda Reads

Many thanks to Danielle at Berkley Publishing Group for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review
Ive lived in this town all my life. Gone is gone.

I have to admit this book was much scarier than I expected it to be. I went in expecting a classic mystery/thriller but this ended up being a lot more than that.

So, whats this book about?
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
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars!

A creepy, chilling and intense tale about the unsolved disappearance of a girl from a spooky motel, and her niece who tried to solve the mystery.

1982, Vivian Delaney was working as a night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, NY, where something wasn't quite right. She disappeared into thin air, leaving an unsolved mystery...
2017, Vivian's niece Carly arrives in Fell looking for answers. But as Carly gets the same job working the night shift that her aunt worked, she finds herself
Larry H
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

If you like creepy, crazy, and twisty, Simone St. James' newest book, The Sun Down Motel is one for you!

In 1982, Viv wants to escape her oppressive home life and move to New York City, but instead she winds up in the tiny upstate town of Fell. She takes a job as the night desk clerk at the Sun Down Motel, which despite having been open for only a few years, has definitely seen better days.

Its not long before some creepy things start happening at the motel. Viv also learns that a
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seriously my favorite thriller Ive read this year so far!
Might bump my rating up up 5 stars, have to marinate on it for awhile but I loved it!
Kelly (and the Book Boar)

Find all of my reviews at:

This place is dark.

Some of us like the dark. Its what we know.

Me immediately prior to reading this book . . . .

If you follow my reviews, you know Ive 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
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

I very much enjoyed this author's last offering The Broken Girls which prompted me to pick up this book. That, and the eye-catching retro book cover! This followed the same formula as the last book, where murders occurred decades ago amidst a supernatural setting. Ditto dual timelines and a relative that goes back to the scene of the crime to figure out what happened.

In 1982 Vivian "Viv" Delaney found work at the Sun Down Motel covering the overnight shift in the office. She
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Im 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
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So good!
When I first saw the cover of this book many months ago, I was drawn to it, without even reading up on what it was about.
A haunting and mysterious read... two timelines, but.. things are not much different in the bizarre happenings that took place at this roadside motel in 1982 and then in 2017.
Ghosts are involved and they are very active😮
Recommended for a fast and entertaining read!!
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Shelby *trains flying monkeys* by: Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Shelves: netgalley, read-2020
1982: Viv has left home to go to New York but ends up instead in small Fell, New York. She is low on money so she takes a job working the night shift at a motel. That motel is not a normal motel.

2017: Carly has always wondered what happened to her aunt Viv who disappeared from the hotel she worked nights at. She goes to Fell and gets the same job that her aunt held.

This story is told in two different eras but Fell is sorta stuck in a time rut and it's almost like Carly is re-living her aunt
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Holdout
  • You Are Not Alone
  • The Wives
  • Long Bright River
  • A Good Neighborhood
  • Thin Ice (Alaska Wild Mysteries #1)
  • Once Upon a Wish-mas
  • Unfollow Me
  • Everything My Mother Taught Me
  • The Andromeda Evolution (Andromeda #2)
  • The Stranger Inside
  • Eight Perfect Murders
  • The Perfect Mother
  • A Madness of Sunshine
  • The Family Upstairs
  • Dear Edward
  • Mother Knows Best
  • The Starless Sea
See similar books…
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

Articles featuring this book

If you love a page-turning mystery, you are in for a treat this month. We're seeing a great assortment of highly anticipated mysteries and thril...
22 likes · 10 comments
“I bet you could sleep in the right place,” I said. “Not just at the motel. You can’t spend the rest of your life here. I bet you could sleep if you were in a place that made you happy. Where you knew you’d wake up to something good.” 1 likes
“sleep.” “I bet you could sleep in the right place,” I said. “Not just at the motel. You can’t spend the rest of your life here. I bet you could sleep if you were in a place that made you happy. Where you knew you’d wake up to something good.” 0 likes
More quotes…