Review: The Sun Down Motel by Simon St. James

The Sun Down MotelAuthor: Simon St. James
Publisher: Berkley
Released: February 18th, 2020
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Kidnapping, assault, murder
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Sun Down Motel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Sun Down Motel is Simon St. James’ latest novel, a paranormal thriller worth reading (and remembering. We’ve all read the story of a girl gone missing – this is that story, but with several dramatic and surprising twists.

Carly has spent her whole life knowing that her aunt went missing one day. Even though this is an aunt she never got to meet – Carly is determined to solve the 35-year-old case. She needs the close. But more than that, she is enraged at the idea of her aunt just being forgotten so easily. That anyone could go missing and not be found. Or even searched for.

Viv Delany had big dreams for herself. She wanted to get away from home. Maybe even get all the way to New York City. Instead, she ended up in Fell – a small town in the middle of nowhere. But there’s something captivating about Fell, even, or perhaps especially, considering the mysteries and murders of the area.


“It wasn’t fair that Vivian was forgotten, reduced to a few pieces of newsprint and nothing else.”

Spoiler Warning

Warnings: The Sun Down Motel has a lot of typical thriller elements. But some are especially worth noting/warning about. There’s kidnapping, rape, and murder all within these pages.

The Sun Down Motel was an intensely brilliant read. It has been a long time since I’ve read a paranormal thriller, and I had honestly forgotten how much I love them. So for that reason alone, I am truly grateful for this novel.

But don’t worry! There are plenty of other reasons to love this novel as well. I promise. This is a tall full of mystery, intrigue, deception, and righteous rage. The town of Fell has been rife with mystery – from murdered girls to missing women. There’s a lot of tension in the air, and Carly is about to add to it.

You see, Carly’s character is actually somebody that many of us can empathize with. She’s well and truly angry at the idea of anyone going missing, especially when nobody really bothered to look for her. She’s tired and hurt, and looking for resolution.

There’s something poignant in her journey, something that I personally resonated with. I know that I’m not the only one that will feel that way, which is why I’m recommending this book so heavily.

The Sun Down Motel is broken into two perspectives, set 35 years apart from one another. One is the story of Viv Delany – the aunt that goes missing. The other is obviously of Carly. Seeing the events unfold in this manner, bouncing back and forth each chapter, allowed for a steady buildup, as well as some creative twists along the way.

Everything I’ve mentioned so far is enough to make this an interesting thriller. But I haven’t touched the paranormal elements. That’s part of what made this novel so unique – the inclusion of ghosts. It certainly made the run down motel a whole lot more interesting. It also added a fair amount of obfuscation, which was surprising – but very well done.

I really enjoyed reading The Sun Down Motel. I can honestly tell you that I haven’t read anything like it in quite some time – though that is something I intend to fix. I foresee a whole lot more paranormal thrillers in my future.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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3 Responses to Review: The Sun Down Motel by Simon St. James

  1. thebrowneyedbookworm says:

    Wonderful review Liz!! I enjoyed the audiobook, and was surprised how much I enjoyed the at times creepy atmosphere. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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