Book Review: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Name:  The Paris Apartment
Author:  
Lucy Foley
Number of Pages: 
416 (Kindle)
Published: 
March 3rd 2022 by HarperCollins
Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Goodreads

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.
The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has.
Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.
The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge
Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.

My Rating:

My Thoughts:

The Paris Apartment is the latest from Lucy Foley. I read and enjoyed The Hunting Party, so was looking forward to picking this one up. The story follows Jess, a woman who makes a sudden departure from her job and decides to go to Paris to stay with her half-brother Ben, only when she arrives Ben’s apartment is empty. There is no sign of Ben, even though he’d agreed to meet her, and Jess becomes suspicious when she finds what she believes is evidence of a struggle. So begins this twist-filled tale of mystery.

The characters. At the centre of the story is Jess.  Hoping to escape her own situation, she unwittingly walks straight into something unexpected after travelling to Paris to meet her half-brother, only to be confronted by the fact that Ben has apparently gone missing and no one else in the grand old apartment building he was living in wants to get involved.
Everyone in this place has something to hide – some secret, or something going on – from the mysterious woman in the penthouse, Sophie, to Ben’s friend Nick, who convinced him to live in the apartment block, to Mimi, a young woman who tries to distance herself from knowing Ben when Jess first asks questions, to the shadowy old Concierge who lingers around the place and dwells in a cabin in the courtyard, watching all, seeing all, knowing quite a lot.
These characters are mysterious and you get easily drawn in to their part in the overall story. Who knows what? Were any of them involved? And what exactly were they involved in?

It’s not clear at the beginning what the threat is, or where it’s coming from, or even what has really happened, whether Nick is simply missing, or whether there’s something even more serious going on.  This gives a different air than the previous book I read by this author, where we knew someone had been murdered, just not who it was straight away, and I liked this engrossing mystery; it kept me turning the pages, wanting to make sense of it all.

The setting is wonderful, this grand old apartment building behind a heavy gate and massive walls, with it’s floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies, high ceilings, ornate lift shafts and concealed passages down to a pretty creepy old basement. Not a place you would want to get caught snooping around, or indeed get locked inside. It all makes for quite a creepy atmosphere even before you add in all the secrets and the way the residents behave.
As well as this great location, Jess ventures out into the streets around the apartment block in search of answers, so there’s the vibrancy and crowded part of life in stark contrast to the isolation of this secretive apartment building and it’s mysterious inhabitants.

I enjoyed the writing style. Short chapters alternating between various viewpoints left me thinking ‘just one more chapter’, which inevitably led to ‘one more’ again and another after that, so I devoured this tale quite quickly.
Every so often there’s a flashback to events from the hours leading up to the main story and Ben’s disappearance, and some even further back as we learn more about these characters and their past experiences.
Piecing it all together from these scenes and snippets made for interesting reading, and I kept trying (unsuccessfully) to guess or work out the outcome.

I do love it when a mystery tale leaves me surprised, and this one did. The Paris Apartment was another enjoyable read from Lucy Foley.

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

  1. Elyse LeMieux says:

    Oooh I just selected this one for one of my last BOTM boxes (using up my credits and then cancelling)! It’s pretty hot right now on GR and IG due to being a new release and I think people are liking it! I’ve only read The Hunting Party and I gave it 3 stars but I never wrote a review for it besides “A solid 3-star book.” lol. Maybe I’ll get to this one soon. I have a baaaad habit of buying books and not reading them even in the year I bought them. lol

    Like

    • pagesandtea says:

      The Hunting Party is the other book I’ve read too, I never got around to The Guest List for some reason.
      I have exactly the same habit too, buying books and not reading them for absolutely ages. It doesn’t help that so many of the books I want to read are also massive so it takes me ages to get through them 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. @lynnsbooks says:

    I really enjoyed this one, it felt quite different from the previous two books that I’ve read by this author and at first I think I was trying to compare them until I simply let that notion go. What I particularly liked this is that Foley firmly leads you to make a number of wrong assumptions. I also thought the building was great, almost like a character in itself. I don’t want to give anything away in the comments though so I’ll stop there.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • pagesandtea says:

      It definitely felt different to The Hunting Party. I’m not sure why I never read The Guest List, so might have to give that one a go at some point.
      I enjoy a story where the building itself almost becomes a character and I thought that happened pretty much right away, from the moment Jess arrived at that imposing front gate. And some of the features within the building… You’re right though, no spoilers 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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