4.5 stars ****
The Sun Down Motel is an interesting mix between ghost story and crime novel. I previously read Broken Girls by Simone St. James and while I remember enjoying the mystery novel it was a bit basic and quickly drifted from my memory. When her newest book came out, I only heard good things so I was interested in picking it up. And I was more than pleasantly surprised. This book took a complete 180 and took risks that most thrillers often do not (like including things that go bump in the night.)
I loved the structural elements Simone St. James decided to keep, like the past and present intermingling story lines. I truly enjoyed both of her heroines. Carly was smart and inquistive while Viv was brave and determined. I was rooting for both of them throughout their shared story.
I think the actual mystery of what happened to Viv a far more original spin on a thriller, than the simple who done it. One would think knowing the killer a third of the way into the book would make it boring, but it truly had the opposite affect.
Following along on Carly and Viv’s investigations, I really felt like I was on my own journey to the truth. I enjoyed all of the characters, including the male and female side characters. It was a huge improvement on storytelling for St. James, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next!