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Publisher's Summary

An Instant New York Times Best Seller

Something hasn’t been right at the roadside Sun Down Motel for a very long time, and Carly Kirk is about to find out why in this chilling new novel from the best-selling 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.

©2020 Simone St. James (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"There are very few novels that leave me feeling genuinely spooked....Simone St. James's The Sun Down Motel is very much one of those books, taking twists and turns that are equal parts compelling and creepy." (PopSugar)

“Spooky, unsettling, and brilliantly written, The Sun Down Motel is mesmerizing from the first page. A breathlessly suspenseful supernatural mystery that will hook you early, and never let go.” (Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts, ITW Thriller Award-winner for Best Novel)

“Simone St. James takes danger and fear to a new level with The Sun Down Motel, a place so chocked full of secrets, the rooms all but tremble at their door hinges. An excellent blend of mystery and the mysterious. Don't miss this.” (Jamie Mason, author of The Hidden Things)

What listeners say about The Sun Down Motel

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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What a wonderful suspense / horror story

I devoured this audible in no time, loving every minute of it. The plot was riveting, the writing made you feel like you were there, the atmosphere sinister and eerie in the most delicious way. The Author knows how to write ghost mysteries which grab your attention until the very end and the Narrators did a fabulous job. This one is really one of the best in its genre I have ever read/listened to.

2 people found this helpful

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Creepy and sad but great story

The book was great and I loved the back and forth in time. The story went a little wonky at times and a little inconsistent but nothing that took away from the overall story (i.e dislocated shoulder and back injury which were brushed off an hour later). Overall, another great book by a fantastic author.

1 person found this helpful

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Prey vs,Predator

A cat and mouse story which builds exciting momentum at concluding chapters. The two timelines require att3ntion, but well worth as a young, naive woman in 1980s finds work as a night clerk in a really weird hotel with a bad history. She suspects that one of Sun Down Motel’s regular guests may be a serial killer, but no one is willing to believe her. She sets out to find proof of her suspicions. The final scenes were unexpected, explosive as prey meets predator, learnsthe truth. Unusual plot twists made this a great listen. I believe the author has hit her stride with this novel!

1 person found this helpful

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So engaging!

Oh, I just loved this read! The plot was great, characters were well developed, and the narration was done well. I liked the two perspectives, although my favourite was from the aunt's point of view. I think this would make a great movie if they ever decided to turn it into one. Definitely an engaging read/listen!

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entertaining but predictable

The narrator is brilliant, each character has a different and distinct voice. The story starts off strong but falls into a lot of unfortunate tropes. The tortured bad boy with a difficult past only needing a good woman to turn his life around, women wishing that if only they have a chance to lose their virginity before they die, and the way the main character views "justice" at the end of the novel being super problematic and skewed.

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Kept me up all night

Loved it ! Love the connections of past and present and the building of the characters

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horror fans rejoice!

true crime fans and paranormal junkies would love this book! great mix of crime mystery and horror. i highly recommend this book!

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The old roadside motel.

We’ve all seen them on a road trip or family vacation, every town has one right on the pre-Interstate Highway system, the roadside motel. They were a place to stop and get a few winks on your way from point A to point B. In this day and age of chain hotels and frequent flyer plans, the old roadside motel has taken a hit. They have been replaced by the need to get “there” faster and to need the sameness and standardization that we expect, and Norman Bates may have hurt the industry a wee bit. The ones that have survived seem rundown and outdated; this gives them a creepiness that Simone St. James has capitalized on. The Sun Down Motel was a great story. The Audible version mimics the parallel timelines with two narrators, one for each protagonist, and fits perfectly with the story. I’m a sucker for the parallel timelines, two great suspense stories for the price of one admission, St. James pulled this off masterfully. St. James’ characters were fabulous. I loved the many levels of quirk that she added to them. Each one, dead and alive, had their own unique personality. I had my own personal icks with this story. With the innovative story, incredible characters and impeccable selection of narrators, I still saw the twist coming a mile away. Beyond this, St. James felt the need to insert a #metoo element to her story. I get it, authors want to be relevant and to put their own personal feelings into their books. For myself, when I read, I like to get away from the ugliness of reality.

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Starts good

Starts good, but gets downhill from that. You're hoping the whole time that it gets better, but then it stops with a disappointing ending. Not worth the credit.

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engaging

It was a nice, light, fast-moving listen. Not exactly dense of plot, but that's ok. It started off pretty strong but it did get a bit obvious at the back half. I still enjoyed it, though. The characters were pretty good, and I think the supernatural element was handled well. I wasn't sold on the romantic aspects at all, but there wasn't a whole lot of that, which was nice. The narration was pretty good, too.

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  • Spig
  • 2020-03-04

Disappointed Simone St. James fan

I'm having a hard time reconciling my adoration for Simone St. James' other books with my utter disappointment in this one. I also don't understand the rave reviews! I did notice that a lot of the popular reviewers of this book have not reviewed any of this author's other works.. So perhaps there's a difference in target audience with this one(?), as well as a difference in my expectation as a fan of Simone St. James' usually great writing. This story had great building blocks: Haunted motel, unsolved mystery, unresolved family history, female sleuths who confront the supernatural whilst solving these hitherto unknowns! I see the term "fell flat" a lot in reviews.. That's not quite right here.. It fell FAKE to me. Nothing about this story was believable. And I'm not talking about the ghosts! I'm not going to do well giving examples without spoilers, so Im not going to try. Instead I'll broadly state: The drive behind every character was unrealistic. The characters were barely even likeable. And the nerdy/intellectual girl meets brooding sexy man thing is the same overdone scenario in any tween book that's been written. And why throw shade on the young male victim of a far greater tragedy than any of the characters were supposed to care about here by the way? That didn't make a lick of sense! The "plot twists" were obvious, the ghosts were garish, underdeveloped, and unresolved. I really want to emphasize how much I love this author's other works! If you want a story with well developed characters & ghosty chills, read The Haunting of Maddy Clare. If you want family haunting, spooky atmosphere, & rising above female suppression, read Lost Among the Living. If you want more a more modern paranormal thriller with a believable lovestory side line, read The Broken Girls! Read ANY of Simone St. James' books instead of this one!!

29 people found this helpful

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  • Cntrls
  • 2020-02-19

Loved this story!

First off, the narrators are great. Beautiful, clear voices. Second, the story was incredible. I love this author and was so excited to see this new audiobook. Did not disappoint. The characters and story is so wonderful. Took me away for a scary adventure.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-02-22

4/5ths of a Good Read

A great narrative with a disappointing finish. I expected better from this author, as she's one of my all time favorites. The ending is bland, the name of a personality disorder is used to explain away random and apparently first time violent behavior from a character, and the split plot ends up dragging the whole thing down with it. There are many questionable if not blatantly bad character decisions made, and in the end this whole novel read as extremely queerbaiting, not thought through, and frankly silly. Why was Callum even there? Sigh. I've been waiting on this one for months, and I'm so disappointed. The specific personality disorder referenced (BPD) is something I live with. We are an extremely stigmatized group and hearing it used in this (especially for such a useless unimportant reason) broke my heart.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-02-22

Ridiculous! A Nancy Drew novel would be better!

Kept waiting for this book to get better but it only got worse... A teenager might enjoy it... How anyone could compare this with "The Shining" is beyond me...

7 people found this helpful

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  • Reader
  • 2020-04-17

Great story, Great narration!

Well written and gripping throughout. Kirsten Potter is excellent, as always and Brittany Presley nailed her role. The book is filled with suspense and the story line is compelling. I definitely recommend letting yourself indulge and enjoy!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jacki S
  • 2020-03-15

What a GREAT performance by the two narrators!

I was a little unsure at the beginning of this book because I didn’t realize it had a supernatural element to it, which is not my favorite genre. However, the narrators drew me in...and I’m so glad they did! I loved the back & forth between decades/characters, and the author did a remarkable job of bringing the early 80s to life. The mystery never gave itself away, and I felt like I really knew everyone involved by the end - even the ghosts!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sandy M
  • 2020-02-25

My 2nd Favorite Book by Simone St. James So Far

I totally was engrossed in this story from the very beginning. Loved the duel narration, one for each period in time. Just wonderful. Story was interesting and captivating, with lots of surprises, and plenty of creepy to go around. Carly and her roomy were both great, and really liked Nick. Viv was sensitive and funny sometimes with the “guests” at the hotel. Really liked when Viv talked to the “guests”. Definitely going to listen to this one again, probably more than once. SO worth the credit. Absolutely worth it

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-05-16

Loved it.

This book was exactly what I was looking for. After several long nonfiction books, I spent a couple days looking for a good story that would pull me in quick and build upon the initial intrigue. I really loved it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Aba KH
  • 2020-04-22

Ghost story for people who don’t do ghost stories

I haven’t read supernatural/sci-fi type books in awhile so when they started talking about ghosts I was turned off until I realized how realistically the author approached it and how a lot of traditional mystery solving and logic was involved. Fun read!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 2020-05-24

Horrible

The narration was absolutely horrible. The over pronunciation was ear-jarring, and Heather’s Minnie Mouse voice was awful. Returning this book.

2 people found this helpful