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The Sun Down Motel

30 August 2021
Written by: Simone St. James
Review by: Melissa Sullivan
Genre: General Fiction

The Sun Down Motel is told from two different perspectives, and moves back and forth between two time periods. The first is told by Viv Delaney, an aspiring actress who disappeared from the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York in 1982. The second is Carly Kirk, a student and true crime fanatic, who heads to Fell in 2017 to investigate the mysterious and unsolved disappearance of her Aunt Viv. What Carly uncovers is the dark past in the town of Fell, involving unexplainable events, locals with secrets, unsolved murders, and angry ghosts.

This book had me hooked right from the first chapter. With its dark tone and creepy atmosphere, it was written with the perfect amount of detail so that I could imagine I was there, watching the events unfold. The paranormal element was an interesting touch and added an unsettling vibe to the story without taking over. It was fascinating to follow both Viv and Carly, while they acted as amateur detectives to try and solve the mysteries surrounding a handful of girls that had been murdered in Fell in the 1970s and 80s.

What I didn’t like as much was that, while I found both Viv and Carly to be likeable, interesting lead characters, I found a lot of the other, minor characters to be quite two-dimensional. There were not a lot of back-stories provided, and they were not as compelling to read about. There were also a few loose ends and unanswered questions remaining by the conclusion of the book.

Overall, even though there were not a lot of twists, and it was a bit predictable throughout, it was still an enjoyable read and had a fairly decent ending. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a bit of a murder mystery with some haunting thrown in.