Book Review: The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James



Title: The Sun Down Motel
Author: Simone St. James
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Edition/Pages: Hardcover (BOTM), 328 pages
Goodreads page


In 1982 Vivian Delany disappeared from the Sun Down Motel night shift. Now 35 year later, Carly is in Fell, NY to try and figure out what actually happened to the aunt she never knew. But Fell and the Sun Down have secrets and a dark past.


➸ POV: 3rd person, alternating timelines 1982 from Vivian’s POV and 2017 from Carly’s POV

➸ Vivian Delany: 20, Born in Illinois, Left home to travel to New York, Landed in Fell NY, Works the night shift at the Sun Down Motel

➸ Carly Kirk: 20, From Illinois, Recently lost her mother, Traveling to Fell NY to learn about her aunt who mysteriously disappeared

Content Warnings: Cancer, Death of a loved on, Grief, Murder, Sexual Assault, Stalking

My Thoughts

This was so spooky and atmospheric! One of the things I love most about this author’s writing and books are her settings. And this was definitely no exception! The Sun Down felt like it’s own character. It was so eerie and vivid and I loved learning about the motel’s past and secrets. I love a setting that feels like it might be real, and The Sun Down definitely gave me that!

I also love the way that Simone St James balances the mystery and paranormal/thriller aspects of her stories. I was completely invested in both aspects and was desperately trying to figure out how they tied together. The mystery was so well woven and constantly had me guessing. This one was more ghosty than Broken Girls and I was definitely pretty spooked at certain points!

Lastly, I was living for the feminist themes of this story. There were so many strong women in this story (just like Broken Girls). They were all flawed, unlikeable at times, and had such depth to their characters. I will forever be here for a book with women supporting women. If you’re looking for a spooky, thriller full of female empowerment, this is your book!

My one complaint, and the thing that kept this from a full 5 stars, was that information-wise, the alternating chapters overlapped quite a bit near the end. Something would be reveled in one timeline then we’d have to read about the other timeline discovering the same thing. And I was so desperate to learn more, it slowed down the pace more than I wanted.

Overall, I loved this eerie, paranormal mystery/thriller. Simone St James is definitely an all time favorite thriller author for me. I love the way she blends genres, tackles important subject matters, and weaves a mystery that will leave you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. I’m already anticipating whatever she writes next!


7 thoughts on “Book Review: The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s