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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

Critic Reviews

"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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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!!

31 people found this helpful

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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.

18 people found this helpful

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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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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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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

5 people found this helpful

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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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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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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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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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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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-30-20

Perfect listen

Enjoyed every second of this listen. Brilliant narrators. As a murderino this was a perfect listen for me.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Helly
  • 07-06-20

A wonderful book

This is such an awesome book. It's well written and a great combination of crime and supernatural. The women are awesome. Listen to it, read it, have a great time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • SandraL
  • 07-02-20

Amazing creepy supernatural crime thriller

I absolutely LOVED this book! I often find books with a supernatural element disappointing, but this is a mix of crime and supernatural and it works so well.

It is told by Viv in the 1980s and Carly in the present day and soon had me totally hooked and I finished this at 3am because I just had to know what happened. The setting of the creepy old motel was spine-tingling and terrifying. It would make a great movie.

Both the narrators (Brittany Pressley, Kirsten Potter) were amazing and I really recommend the Audible version of this book.

Ok off to see what else Simone St James has written!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-02-21

Overrated

It was an okay story. Good in its own way. Far from my top favourite books. I expected something else I guess.

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  • T
  • 03-19-21

wWitten and performed for 12 plus

Oh dear another wasted credit a teen book for sure rubbish for adults. Drivel for under 14s



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  • Kevin
  • 01-12-21

Masterful and satisfying listen

I loved everything about this book. The narrators were excellent, the characters vivid, the story and mysteries really interesting and suspenseful, with past and present brilliantly interwoven, and the ending deeply satisfying.

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  • Laura Larcombe
  • 11-13-20

Loved it

My favourite audio book so far and I have listened to quite a few! Great story and performance from both narrators.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-05-20

thrilling and a nice twist at the end!

thrilling and a nice twist at the end! Good to listen and escape from reality

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ziiigggg
  • 09-30-20

everything an audio book should be

This is a murder mystery with strong female leads, plenty of twists and turns, and real ghosts too. The narrators are very good by and large, I-dropped one star for the voices of alma and marnie that sounded too alike and a bit over acted, but Im being picky since I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the spooky setting, and the characters. I didnt quite put everything together on one listen, there are several characters with key back stories, but I expect it will become clearer on second listen. highly recommended.

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  • Callum Chisholm
  • 09-07-20

Amazingly awesome

I really did enjoy this listen! From start to finish! Cldnt stop, so so freaking good

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  • Zalman Livshiz
  • 02-10-21

Excellent Excellent Suspense Triller

Great book told through two timelines at the same time, good mix of crime, suspense, mystery and thriller will not disappoint.

1 person found this helpful

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  • chantel
  • 02-02-21

Haunting

I was hooked from start to end. Both main characters had interesting stories that had me listening to this book every moment that I could.
The two narrators did a brilliant job.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 11-17-20

Interesting concept, slightly predictable.

I liked how this novel played out, it did keep you on your toes as it had two time lines running at once. I was thankful for the different narration.

I enjoyed the combination of true crime and haunting, though I do wish there were more story dedicated to the haunting, yes that part of the story was secondary, but I found that more interesting.

I feel it was written more for a younger audience, late teens to early adult. But still for a quick read. Worth the time.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Erin
  • 10-17-20

Awful narration

The narrator who played Carly / Heather has made it so i can't finish the book - run together, too fast words then jarring pauses and irritating vocal fry. The book was interesting enough but could only make it through a few hours.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Catherine
  • 05-22-20

Brilliant!

This is the second Simone St James book I've read and I absolutely loved the first one, The Broken Girls, and wondered if this would be as good. It was better! Brilliant storyline, loved the characters especially the protagonists, Viv and Carly. The narration was great and I'm only disppointed that it had to end ...

1 person found this helpful

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 05-04-20

Loved it

I wasn’t sure if I would like this story or not but I really loved it. Very different from stories I usually read but great fun. Both narrators very easy to listen to. Well worth reading.

1 person found this helpful