Thirty-five years ago Vivian (Viv) Delaney set out for New York City and ended up instead in the small town of Fell, New York. It was her intention to work there for a short time to fund her way to the city, taking the night shift at The Sun Down Motel in the meantime. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that not only was there something off about the motel but also the town as young women were mysteriously turning up dead. Transition to the present (2017) and Viv’s niece, Carly Kirk, decides to visit Fell and look into the disappearance of her aunt now that her own mother has died from cancer. See, Viv inexplicably disappeared from the town in 1982.
I’m always a little leery of ghost stories because they sometimes can veer absurdly into dimensions that require a belief suspension I can’t muster. When I decided to listen to this book, I thought it was more a mystery rather than having supernatural elements. Well, I should have paid more attention to the title and cover as that motel is all kinds of creepy. Even though some of the ghostly activities could be over the top at times, it was completely in keeping with the story and characters. I’m also a fan of dual timelines so that worked for me, too, though I sometimes confused the ghosts.
Listening to this story was the best decision. Both narrators delivered great performances but I absolutely love Kirsten Potter’s voice (Viv)! It’s deep and sultry, with just a little bit of wit behind every remark. I enjoyed the story overall and loved the mystery element. I did think, though, both Viv and Carly had a few too many TSTL moments (for those unfamiliar with the term: too stupid to live). Sometimes their decisions just didn’t ring authentic but it was fun to go along because they took me into the scary. As ghost stories go, this was a win for me, which is rare. I like how it ended with lots of resolution and remaining questions I’m content to mull over on my own.
- Release Date: February 18, 2020
- Narrators: Brittany Pressley & Kirsten Potter
- Audio Length: 11 hours
- Publisher: Penguin Audio
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Libro.fm
(Thanks to Penguin Random House Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)