Book Review

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Sun Down Motel

Author: Simone St. James

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: February 18, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 5/5

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

BOOK BLURB

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 New York Times 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.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

In Fell, New York, the Sun Down Motel is a rundown motel where strange things happen. In 1982, Viv was the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel. One night she simply disappeared. In 2017, Carly is curious what happened to her aunt Viv in 1982, so she goes to Fell to retrace Viv’s steps. Not much has changed since 1982, and Carly is faced with the same mysteries as her aunt.

Told with alternating points of view (Viv and Carly) and alternating timelines (1982 and 2017). Viv is a young woman wanting to get away from her family in 1982. She makes it as far as Fell, and ends up with a job as a motel night clerk. While there, she is intrigued with several local murders, and starts to investigate. Carly has always wondered what happened to her aunt Viv. While looking for answers, Carly’s steps are eerily similar to her aunt’s.

The Sun Down Motel is an absorbing and atmospheric paranormal mystery. The characters are captivating. The setting is haunting. The story is gripping. An excellent read that I highly recommend

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Simone St. James:
  1. The Haunting of Maddy Clare
  2. An Inquiry Into Love and Death
  3. Silence for the Dead
  4. The Other Side of Midnight
  5. Lost Among the Living
  6. The Broken Girls
  7. The Sun Down Motel
  8. The Book of Cold Cases
Book Review

The Other People by C.J. Tudor [Book Review]

The Other People by C.J. Tudor

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Other People

Author: C.J. Tudor

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publish Date: January 28, 2020

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Other People by C.J. Tudor

BOOK BLURB

A gripping thriller about a man’s quest for the daughter no one else believes is still alive, from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man and The Hiding Place.

Q: Why are you called the Other People?
A: We are people just like you. People to whom terrible things have happened. We’ve found solace not in forgiveness or forgetting. But in helping each other find justice.

Driving home one night, Gabe is stuck behind a rusty old car. He sees a little girl’s face appear in its rear window. She mouths one word: Daddy. It’s his five-year-old daughter, Izzy. He never sees her again.

Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights traveling up and down the highway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe she’s dead.

When the car that he saw escape with his little girl is found abandoned with a body inside, Gabe must confront not just the day Izzy disappeared but the painful events from his past now dredged to the surface.

Q: What sort of justice?
A: That depends on the individual. But our ethos is a punishment that fits the crime.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the road. Not searching. Running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them—because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter.

She knows who is responsible. And she knows what they will do if they ever catch up to her and Alice.

Q: Can I request to have someone killed?
A: If your Request is acceptable, and unless there are exceptional circumstances, we fulfill all Requests.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

On his drive home one night, Gabe seems a little girl in the back of another car. When he looks closer, he sees that the girl is his daughter. He tries to catch up to the car, but they get away. He never sees his daughter again.

The Other People is told from multiple viewpoints – Gabe, Fran, and Katie. The night Gabe saw his daughter, was the same night someone entered his home and killed his wife and daughter. Gabe is convinved he saw his daughter that night, and that she is still alive. Gabe spends the next few years driving up and down the highway in search of the car that last held his daughter. The police don’t believe him, but he’s convinced she’s out there somewhere. Fran and her daughter are on the run. It’s not clear exactly who is after them and why, but there is someone trying to track them down and kill them. Katie works the night shift as waitress near the highway. As the story progresses, the points of view come together.

An intriguing thriller that combines suspense, paranormal, and vigilantism. I enjoyed the suspenseful mystery, but I wasn’t interested in the paranormal parts. For me, it didn’t really work, but I get how it was used to connect some of the characters. The idea of a vigilante group using the dark web was interesting, and my favorite aspect of the novel.

A good read, and one fans of C.J. Tudor will surely enjoy. Dark, eerie, and mysterious.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by C.J. Tudor:
  1. The Chalk Man
  2. The Hiding Place
  3. The Other People
  4. The Burning Girls
Book Review

The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor [Book Review]

The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Hiding Place

Author: C.J. Tudor

Publisher: Crown

Publish Date: February 5, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor

BOOK BLURB

The thrilling second novel from the author of The Chalk Man, about a teacher with a hidden agenda who returns to settle scores at a school he once attended, only to uncover a darker secret than he could have imagined.

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing.

It was the day she came back.

With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, C. J. Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned reader.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Joe goes back to his hometown after being gone for many years. Once back in town, he discovers some recent events that are eerily similar to things that happened in his past. He gets caught up in discovering the truth behind the recent events and uncovering the secrets and lies of his past.

Joe is a desperate mess. He’s down on his luck, owing money to some bad people, and lying his way into a new job in his hometown. Not to mention the events from Joe’s teen years have led him to not exactly be welcomed back with open arms.

The secrets from Joe’s teen years mostly center around what happened to his sister. She went missing, but she came back. Soon after arriving back in town, Joe learns another kid recently went missing and showed up again after a couple of days. He is afraid history is repeating itself, and takes measures into his own hands to set things right.

The Hiding Place is a slow-paced, character driven story. I was not expecting a supernatural element to this novel, so that took me by surprise. This book is listed as a mystery thriller, but it read more like a horror novel. Dark, bleak, and atmospheric.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by C.J. Tudor:
  1. The Chalk Man
  2. The Hiding Place
  3. The Other People
  4. The Burning Girls
Book Review

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Broken Girls

Author: Simone St. James

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: March 20, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

BOOK BLURB

A journalist uncovers the dark secrets of an abandoned boarding school in this chilling suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel.

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants—the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the ones too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall, and local legend says the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their friendship blossoming—until one of them mysteriously disappears….

Vermont, 2014. Twenty years ago, journalist Fiona Sheridan’s elder sister’s body was found in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And although her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of the murder, Fiona can’t stop revisiting the events, unable to shake the feeling that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during renovations links the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past—and a voice that won’t be silenced….


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Idlewild Hall was once a boarding school where wayward girls were sent. Since the opening of the school, there were rumors that it was haunted. The school closed in the 1970s and set abandoned until 2014. When the owner of the property decides to restore it, old secrets are revealed.

Told with the multiple timelines of 1950 and 2014. In 1950, four students at Idlewild bonded during their time there, but one of them mysteriously disappeared. In 2014, Fiona can’t stop thinking about her sister’s death twenty years earlier. Her sister’s body was found on the grounds of the abandoned boarding school, and Fiona can’t shake the feeling that there was something off about the case. Fiona is a journalist, and when she learns that a restoration project is set to begin on the school, she thinks it will make a good local interest piece. During Fiona’s visit to the school, a new discovery is made during the renovations.

This novel has a lot happening. For one, Fiona wants to know if there was more to her sister’s death. This is not a story about the wrong guy being caught and convicted for her sister’s death. It’s about there being more to the story than people were led to believe. While working on the article about the boarding school, Fiona discovers clues to an old cold case concerning a missing girl. Concerning the cold case, Fiona interviews old staff and students to connect the pieces. In amongst all of this, there is a ghost story. With so much happening, it is easy for a story to get messy, but this one came together nicely.

I’m not a big fan of paranormal mysteries, so I put off reading this one for a long time. Finally, I caved and checked it out at my local library. Even there, the librarian said how good it was and that she recommended it. So, while not exactly my genre, I had high hopes due to all the praise I’ve heard about this book. I’m happy to say that it was a captivating and suspenseful thriller, and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. Atmospheric, eerie, and compelling.

Books by Simone St. James:
  1. The Haunting of Maddy Clare
  2. An Inquiry Into Love and Death
  3. Silence for the Dead
  4. The Other Side of Midnight
  5. Lost Among the Living
  6. The Broken Girls
  7. The Sun Down Motel
  8. The Book of Cold Cases