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Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Shining-ish Mystery/Horror Novel a Creepy, Can't-Look-Away Page Turner (with a Giveaway!)

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

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 USA Today 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.

There's a reason I'm not a professional writer of plot summaries for novels!  Rarely can I come up with something as succinct but telling as the one above.  It says everything you need to know about The Sun Down Motel, the newest haunting thriller from Simone St. James, without giving anything away.  And you do want to go into this one with as few preconceived notions as possible.  Suffice it to say, the book offers up lots of The Shining-ish thrills and chills.  Riley Sager calls it "deliciously creepy" and I can't think of a more apt description.   Although it was freaky enough to make me dive under my covers every time my house creaked even though I was reading it in broad daylight, it's a fun kind of freaky.  I enjoyed the colorful characters, the eerie setting, and the pulse-pounding plot, so much so that I read The Sun Down Motel almost in one sitting.  If you dig a good scare, don't miss this one.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of The Shining by Stephen King and The Widow's House by Carol Goodman)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, violence, disturbing subject matter, and blood/gore

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of The Sun Down Motel from the generous folks at Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


Are you interested in winning your own copy of The Sun Down Motel?  Its publisher is generously offering one hardcover copy of the book for me to give away here at BBB.  All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter widget below.  Please note that only readers with U.S. addresses are eligible to enter.  Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for this thrilling giveaway which interests me greatly. I have read this author's novels which are intriguing and unique. I am looking forward to reading The Wife and The Widow.

  2. I'm glad to hear you liked this one so much. I'm a fan of St. James's other books, but haven't read this one yet. I'm really looking forward to it. :)

  3. I love the way you turn your post titles into mini-reviews of the books you're talking about. This was a great title. :-)

  4. I do like the fun kind of freaky! This one is on my TBR and I'm really looking forward it.

  5. I don't read a lot of horror, like this book sounds, but I'm curious about the storyline and I love the title! Fingers crossed I win the copy since I just checked the ABQ library system and they have NO copies - not even ordered yet! Thanks, Susan!

  6. This one sounds so good! I think I need to add it to my TBR list!

  7. This one might be a bit too scary for me!

  8. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Sounds like my kind of book.

  9. I loooooove your rating system! I'll definitely have to check this out, the cover alone is really intriguing.

  10. I have this one to read and have been putting it off because I don't do creepy very well. I think I just need to take the plunge. Great review Susan.

  11. I need to read this. Thank you.

  12. I really did enjoy this book. I did go into it blindly, like I usually do, and think that is the perfect way to go. I loved that there was just enough of a creepy feel to the story.


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