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

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  2,330 ratings  ·  666 reviews
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 from the USA Today 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 the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: 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.

Be the first to ask a question about The Sun Down Motel

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,330 ratings  ·  666 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Sun Down Motel
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
Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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*
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  ·  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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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!!!

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
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hats off to Simone St. James for a spooky, creepy murder mystery / thriller - I loved it! This is one of those books that grabs you at the beginning and you just don't want to put it down until you know everything. The story is told in two timelines.

In 1982 Vivian Delaney has left home and headed for New York City, but ends up in Fell where she picks up a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel where creepy, scary things start happening at the motel and several girls have been murdered in
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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,
Theresa Alan
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Cindy Burnett
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Aga Durka
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Sun Down Motel is a dark, creepy, and an atmospheric mystery/suspense read that captivated me from the first chapter. I enjoyed the secretive and enigmatic plot, even though the two alternating timelines were a little confusing at times. Since both main characters, Viv and Carly, are trying to solve the same mystery, 35 years apart, I had a hard time keeping straight in my head which character knew what, and which one was still in the midst of findings things out. Maybe if I read this book ...more
Lisa Zetes
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ew
I don’t like books with ghosts, but I sure liked The Sun Down Motel -- despite the ghosts. The story is set in 1982 and 2018 in a small town in upstate New York. In 1982, 20 year old Viv moves to town and takes a job as a nighttime clerk at the Sun Down Motel. A few months later, she disappears... In 2018, Viv’s niece Carly comes to town to figure out what happened to her aunt after her mother dies. She too takes a job at the Sun Down Motel… I couldn’t quite say why I liked this one so much – ...more
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
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

Readers also enjoyed

  • Long Bright River
  • The Wives
  • Darling Rose Gold
  • The Other People
  • Dear Edward
  • Eight Perfect Murders
  • The Family Upstairs
  • The Return
  • The Other Mrs.
  • You Are Not Alone
  • The Glittering Hour
  • He Started It
  • Little Secrets
  • Big Lies in a Small Town
  • Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1)
  • Good Girls Lie
  • Follow Me
  • Behind Every Lie
See similar books…