Rating: 3.5 Stars
If I thought The Broken Girls was creepy, The Sun Down Motel is so much more! Simone St. James has outdone herself in chills and secrets. A mystery spanning 35 years, the story is full of intrigue and suspense, with a few ghosts thrown in for additional thrill. I had fun reading this book, especially late at night when you can actually feel the creepiness of the Sun Down Motel.
In 1982, Viv Delaney stumbles onto the Sun Down Motel on her way to New York, and circumstances make her stay back in the small, strange town of Fell. She is practically handed the night shift at Sun Down, without her having asked, and from there begins the spooky tale of the ghostly motel. The place is frightening, and haunted, yet Viv finds herself being drawn into this dark world. Then she stumbles upon an unsolved murder and things start spiralling downwards from there.
In 2017, Carly Kirk decides to visit the town where here aunt Viv disappeared mysteriously from, before Carly was born. It is as if fate has decided to play a joke when Carly ends up with the same job as her aunt at the Sun Down Motel. Before long, she too finds herself going down the same rabbit hole as her aunt, as nothing seems to have changed at the Sun Down in the last 35 years.
The story mostly takes place during the night when the Sun Down comes to life in a very creepy way. The parallels between the lives of Viv and Carly are startling, and their destinies seem intertwined. Half the time I found myself wanting to tell them to stay the hell away from the place and leave the town.
Yet, not once did I feel like the two women acted stupidly. Normally, in such situations you feel like the protagonist made stupid choices by going it alone and not asking for help. No such thing in this book. Both women are smart, courageous, and not afraid to ask for help. Yes, there are a few instances where you feel like Viv is taking too many chances, but when you know you’re right and no one believes you, there are times when you don’t really have much of a choice.
The mystery part becomes a bit easy to work out as the story progresses but that is not really the main draw of the book anyway. The climax could have been a bit more detailed. I wouldn’t have minded reading a few more pages if I had gotten all the answers, the most bothersome being the story of Callum MacRae. Other than that, I was happy with the whole story and would recommend it to all fans of supernatural thrillers.