You Can Never Really Leave…

the sun down motel

The Sun Down Motel

By: Simone St. James

Actually you can pretty much do whatever you want at the Sun Down because it’s not exactly well-staffed. Maybe the ghosts will check you in?

Or out the hard way depending on their moods.

In modern times Carly heads to Fell, New York to search for clues into the decades old disappearance of her Aunt Viv. She quickly begins to follow in her foot prints being the only night employee at the motel and becoming obsessed with a series of murders that took place before Viv disappeared.

Meanwhile in 1982 Viv gets a job at the Sun Down- still fairly new at that point but still haunted by tragedy and crowded with ghosts.

It’s a ghost story/murder mystery all wrapped up into one book and it was very, very good.

I liked both Viv and Carly and I thought St. James did a good job of driving home the anger about the dead and disappeared girls that no one does anything for.

I think Viv’s parts are the strongest as her obsession is in real time and puts her in real danger. St. James does a great job with the general creepiness of the hotel, the passers-by, the ghosts and the strange things that go on there spectral or not.

The best part about Sun Down?

I really didn’t know which way it was going to break and the tension in Viv’s timeline is palpable.

Less so in Carly’s although more information is available to her I found it drug a little. She’s discovering things after the fact that we’re seeing Viv do in much more charged circumstances. There is a nice air of what are they hiding in Carly’s narrative throughout her interviews with some people in town.

I was lukewarm on the love interest and the resolution with the one character seemed tacked on because Carly needed a physical threat to face at the end.

But other wise I completely enjoyed The Sun Down Motel. And while definitely check out more of Simone St. James writing int the future.

Recommend: Yes.