It's Upstate NY, 1982, and Viv Delaney works as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel, where she soon uncovers secrets hidden there. Flash forward to 2017, and Carly Kirk decides take a job at the Sun Down in order to investigate the disappearance of her aunt Viv, who vanished from the motel before Carly was born.
This is a story of darkness, violence, and obsession, of human monsters and supernatural warnings. In short, it’s a true St. James thriller, where the (unsettling, creepy) ghosts are secondary to some very real-world threats and the female protagonists are stubborn and driven. And St. James understands the power of the perfect setting: liminal spaces like rundown highway motels are inherently spooky, just the sort of place where you’d expect to find ghosts and bloody violence. The location and the predominantly night-set story combine to weave a hypnotic, haunting spell ... another knockout by an author who proved her skill long ago and a must-read for established fans and newcomers alike ... It’s a wonderfully crafted and emotional piece of validation for every female true-crime buff.
Words like ‘un-put-down-able’ and ‘page-turner’ are so often overused, but in the case of Simone St. James’s new thriller, The Sun Down Motel, those words are spot-on perfect descriptors ... the characters in The Sun Down Motel feel more dynamic, more memorable, and more vivid than in her previous book. The story driving the book forward is clearer and more exciting, as well ... a great cast of characters that will keep you guessing who to trust, who to be wary of, and who just might save the day.
The Sun Down Motel will entrance with a rich sense of place, 80’s nostalgia, and an utterly gripping—and genuinely creepy—mystery. Here we have a compelling family drama, a modern ghost story, and a gripping mystery all wrapped up in one irresistible package ... two compelling, complex female protagonists, masterful plotting, a truly intriguing mystery ... Simone St. James is an expert at blending the earthly with the otherworldly, and I found the supernatural elements of The Sun Down Motel truly irresistible ... a genuinely creepy story, one that had my heart racing at more than one moment ... it takes a truly special book to make me wish I could abandon all other responsibilities in favor of reading. That’s exactly the kind of book Simone St. James has given us in The Sun Down Motel.