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Monday, February 3, 2020

BLOG TOUR & Review: The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James @berkleypub

The Sun Down Motel 
by Simone St. James 

Thank you to Berkley for this copy and stop on the blog tour.

Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: February 18, 2020
336 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Mystery Suspense

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…

My Review:

This author has a way with writing ghostly, atmospheric reads.  This is my second by her and I found it somewhat similar to The Broken Girl, which I read a couple of years ago.  Spanning two different timelines, this one runs in the early 80s and then in 2017.  (Hello good old '80s vibes - I am never unhappy about these kinds of references!)  Carly has arrived to Fells and The Sun Down Motel to see what may have happened in the disappearance of her aunt, Viv and ends up finding out way more than was expected.

This story has a delicious dark, eerie and ghostly feel to it.  I don't think I'd ever work the night shift at a hotel that's practically in the middle of nowhere.  And I certainly wouldn't do it after noticing weird happenings - smells, noises, doors opening... um, yeah. No thank you! I do appreciate that these ghosts aren't here to just scare the reader, or the characters - they're here for the purposes of the mystery within.

I do think that there was a bit of repetitiveness.  I'm not sure if that's just because of the dual time lines reflecting each other between Viv and Carly to meld their stories together or if there was just a sense of continuity that could *sometimes* make me wonder whose story I was reading.  I didn't find anything crazy or OMG as I was reading but this isn't that type of read, in my opinion.  What we get is a thoroughly atmospheric and at some points, extremely spooky, read.  And this is what this author does SO VERY WELL.

If you're looking for a slow burn of a ghostly story, this is the read for you.  The type of read you don't need a big twist to keep you satisfied, but I do wish I had a little bit more from the ending.


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