The Sun Down Motel – Good Book, Bad Motel

How it was always girls who ended up stripped and dead like roadkill. How it didn’t seem to matter how afraid or how careful you were – it could always be you.

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted on here, and my only valid excuse is that we live in a CRAZY world right now. With the election happening this week, I thought I’d distract my one audience member (me) from thinking about it. So, here I am. I’m back and ready to review a book that scared the shoot out of me.

I don’t think anyone really likes motels, but I really, really, really, don’t like motels. My main and, up until a few weeks ago, only reason for believing this was because of Bates Motel/Psycho. I mean you cannot watch that show/movie and not ever fear going to a motel.

After reading The Sun Down Motel, I’ve decided that the only thing motels are good for is as a setting to any horror-thriller book or movie. That’s it. I’m never staying at a motel ever.

Seeing as this book is a thriller, the whole creepy motel vibe really works.


Book Description (Brought to you by Goodreads)

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 New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.


I really did enjoy reading this book. Carly’s aunt’s disappearance is an Unsolved Mysteries dream episode that has never come close to being solved. Carly, who just so happens to love all things true crime has been obsessed with her aunt’s disappearance ever since she was told of it. When Carly’s mom passes away (cancer), she knows that it’s the perfect time to try and uncover a mystery that has long haunted (hehe) her family.

The true crime aspect of this book is the best part of this book, and my favorite part. In 2017 Carly is trying to investigate Viv’s disappearance, and in 1982, Viv is trying to uncover and connect a string of mysterious murders in Fell, that may or may not be committed by the same person. Seeing Carly and Viv investigate these crimes side by side, and ultimately discover all the answers to their questions, will have you feeling all kinds of excitement.

Along with true crime we’ve got some ghosts. Now, the ghost scenes tended to be a little over the top for me. Like way over the top. In fact, I think the book could have been so much better if St. James had just removed the ghosts from the book altogether, or if she had just toned down the theatrics. Some people like that kind of stuff, but I just didn’t see how it was necessary.

Immediately after reading this book I gave it to my roommate to read, who is a huge thriller/horror movie and book fan. I was very curious to know what she thought of this book because while the ghost parts were over the top, there were a lot of parts in this book that had me sleeping with my light on. Turns out, she wasn’t a big fan of the ghosts either. She also didn’t feel that this book was “sleep with your lights on” scary. Obviously our scared tolerances are vastly different.

For all you seasoned horror/thriller fans, like my roommate, just know that this book will not have you quaking with fear. At least there is complexity to the plot, and two strong, bamf female leads.

What more do you really need in a good read?


Just Read It!

Have I ever told you not to read a book?! Nope. And I never will, so Just Read It already!

I want to know what other thriller fans think of this read – did it scare you, or were you unimpressed?

2 thoughts on “The Sun Down Motel – Good Book, Bad Motel

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