Thirteen strangers check into the Sunset Inn hoping to find rest.  When one of them is murdered in the middle o...

Review of One Night's Stay

Thirteen strangers check into the Sunset Inn hoping to find rest. 

When one of them is murdered in the middle of the night, the survivors realize they’ve found something else entirely; an ancient evil looking to satisfy an undying hunger. 

If the guests want to make it through the night, they’ll have to discover the secret behind the motel and the mysterious town it serves. However, in uncovering the truth, they might find that the town’s past is nowhere near as dark as their own.

You can tell right from the start that there's something fishy going on at The Sunset Inn. Motel in the middle of nowhere. A town where no strangers are ever allowed to spend the night. No phones in any of the hotel rooms. The strange desk clerk playing solitaire. And the question:  

"Now will that be for one night, one week, or a month?"

With the arrival of each subsequent guest, the strangeness and suspense dials up a notch, and especially so while waiting for the arrival of the "special" guest. There's a slow build of oddness and inscrutability. Each arrival is heralded by a bit of the story of how this person came to be there whether it was running out of gas, or a flat tire. While I can't say I was caught completely off guard by the identity of this person, I welcomed the intrigue surrounding him. It was fantastic misdirection by the author to include this problem person when that person is not exactly the problem at all. 

Somewhere around the 30-40% mark, the book lagged a bit for me. While learning each player's backstory helped to build a complete characterization, at some point, it simply became too long and drawn out. I really didn't care what had happened to them, I wanted to know what was going to happen to them.  Thankfully, it picked up the pace again, as the guests begin to unfold each piece of the horror that awaits them. It then becomes a cat and mouse chase through the woods in a merry jaunt of "Let's escape the psychos."

This is one of those books that is hard to explain without giving anything away. While no one would argue that there are horror elements to One Night's Stay, I would probably err on the side of supernatural thriller as I feel it's charm lies more in the secrecy and conundrum that is first presented. The author did a great job of letting out the tiniest bit of string in order to quickly reel you in. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, though I didn't feel as connected to any of the characters as much as I would have liked. I did, however, love the epilogue, because there is nothing more satisfying than the tables being turned on a character that deserves all that karma can bring.  

If you are looking for a spooky midnight read and you don't mind some digression from the here and now along the way, One Night's Stay is well worth a read.  


4 Paws Up!

4 paws up

About the Author

C.B. Collins is a horror/suspense writer from Mount Airy, North Carolina. He has great friends, a loving family and two old, but incredibly hyper, Springer Spaniels. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar and hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway. He has never spent the night in a motel off the abandoned highways of West Virginia, nor does he intend to.