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The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James (Berkley)

February 4, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

WOW!!!!! That is all I have to say about today’s book. I am always blown away when an author can write something that causes such an intense, visceral reaction. Murder, ghosts, and fear are what’s on tap for today. While my dreams at night were hijacked by my ruminating thoughts, daytime gave my wandering mind no rest.  The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James is a five-star story brilliantly crafted to heighten your senses and shake your soul.  Here we go!

“And one night, that woman was on my bed. Sitting on the foot of the bed. I woke up and she was just there, looking at me. The bed didn’t sag or anything-she had no weight. She was there, and then I blinked and she was gone. I could smell her perfume, and something bad. Coppery, like blood.” 

Whether or not ghosts are real is for you to decide.  Simone St. James brings this paranormal phenomenon to life in her latest book, The Sun Down Motel.  In 1982, Viv began to work the night shift at the Sun Down Motel.  Young and alone, she takes this job in an effort to make some money and hopefully move on to something bigger and better.  Her future is abruptly cut short when one night, she disappears in the middle of her shift…forever!

In 2017, Carly decides to investigate the unsolved disappearance of her Aunt Viv. She temporarily moves to Fell, NY, and resides at her aunt’s old apartment from the 1980s. In an effort to find some answers, she takes on the night shift at the Sun Down Motel.  Except for the difference in time, everything is exactly the same as when her aunt worked there. Seedy transactions smoked stained linens, and a noisy ice machine was to be expected. She had no idea that her nights filled with darkness would soon shine a light on a string of unsolved murder mysteries. Every night at the motel revealed more clues to her aunt’s disappearance and the murdered women of Fell, NY. The closer Carly gets to figuring out this puzzle, the more danger she is in.

St. James’ book alternates between two timelines…Viv’s in 1982 and Carly’s in 2017. As the chapters bounce back and forth between narrations, the truth begins to slowly unfold. This book is a wild ride. Normally, I stay clear of ghost stories. Not with this book though. St. James includes a supernatural aspect to her story that truly fits the bill. Be forewarned….this story is a wee bit disturbing.  Be prepared to be scared. Not horror movie scared, but a fear that lingers while you are reading scared. Creepy scenes that are described so vividly, they take up a permanent residence in your mind. A whiff of cigarette smoke, the sound of footsteps close behind you, whispers…the DARK!

The murder investigations in this book were chilling.  Backtracking through time to piece together a serial killer’s motives was engrossing and stomach-turning all wrapped up with one big bow.  From the secrets it kept, to the sleazy vibe that filled the air, the Sun Down Motel was more than just the backdrop to this story. It is a living, breathing entity that served as the pulse for this mind-blowing tale.  The pace was fast and the suspense was gripping. With no stone left unturned, the attention to detail was spot on. Most of all though, the female characters in this book were powerful and completely kicked butt! This book screamed Girl Power and I LOVED it!!!

If this sounds like your cup of tea, take a sip…… will not disappoint you!  The Bates Motel has nothing on Sun Down!!!!!

Sleep tight, all through the night Dear Friends!

Until next time Mr. H.

Your Biggest Fan,


P.S. If you need a breather after reading The Sun Down Motel, check out The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams (Berkley). Men and women alike will enjoy this charming, witty and sexy tale. A husband trying to win his wife back with the help from his buddies and Regency romance books……..absolutely delightful!

Click here to Pre-order The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James. It hits bookstores February 18, 2020.

Click on The Bromance Book Club below to check it out!

The Sun Down Motel – Content Warning

Murder, serial killers, rape, disturbing images, paranormal aspects, suspense, mental health

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