This book was selected by my Quarantine Book Club for the month of June 2020 and it only took me just over a week to finish reading, which is fast for me.
The story is about Viv, who went missing while she worked the night shift at this haunted motel in Fell, NY, and Carly, her niece, who’s determined to find the truth, 35 years later. I enjoyed each of the point of views (Viv and Carly), but they were both very similar characters with mirroring lives and that may have been the author’s intention. Either way, this story did amplify strong female protagonists in discovering the truth in this town.
Ghosts haunt the Sun Down Motel and played a significant role in the storyline, which really satisfied my ghost-loving heart. This quote describes the eerie town, “Fell attracts weird types. People who are a bit morbid. No offense,” and the writing painted a gorgeously creepy atmosphere within this setting.
I almost gave this story 5 stars, but the first half was bogged down in the research and connections of the past during Carly’s POV while you read about the past in Viv’s POV. It wasn’t until the last hundred pages when the pace picked up and everything started to tie together more. I didn’t have a better sense of Carly as a standalone character or her personal motivations, except that her mother grieved for years over the loss of her sister. Overall, I wish I got to know Carly more.
Don’t let the paranormal element steer you away because it’s woven in beautifully. If you like murder mysteries, angry ghosts, and enduring insomnia within the Twilight Zone, this story is for you!
Title: THE SUN DOWN MOTEL
Author: Simone St. James
Rating: 4.5 | 5 stars
About the story:
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 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…