For the past few months, discussions around Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment have mentioned a likeness to Agatha Christie, to which I’ve responded, “Wow! Huh” because I am mortified to admit that I’ve never read Agatha Christie. I guess I should remedy that. So, is The Paris Apartment worth all the hype? Read on, my lovelies.
February 22, 2022
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.
If you’re a mystery reader, the one thing you adore more than anything else is a story that keeps you guessing. If that fails than you just want the author to write so well that you ignore the fact that you already know whodunnit. Well, Lucy Foley not only writes well, she kept me guessing throughout the entirety of The Paris Apartment.
Jess has burned her bridges at her last job in England so she contacts her brother Ben who is currently living in Paris to see if she can stay with him. When she arrives, there’s no Ben. His cat is bloody (not the cat’s blood), the entryway smells of bleach, and his message ended on a frantic note. Jess is certain that something bad has happened to him. The inhabitants of the nearby apartments are no help. In fact, they’re off-putting. As Jess attempts to discover the fate of her brother, she uncovers surprise after surprise that will ultimately place her in as much danger as Ben must have been.
Oh, those surprises, they kept coming. However, they weren’t reckless surprises tossed out by an author who had not honed their craft. No, these were well-plotted ones that, at the end, when I considered everything just really worked. They were rational and created those beloved “ah” moments. This made for a page-turning experience especially in the last third when everything began to unravel.
Lucy Foley is also excellent at creating tension. Of course, characters with so many secrets lend themselves to that as well.
The characters are, for the most part, completely unlikable at first glance. However, as I read about their histories, I could understand why they were the way they were. Each had an experience that altered them, molded them, which shows how capably written The Paris Apartment is. Most of the characters have multiple layers.
Considering how engrossed and fascinated I found The Paris Apartment, this is going to be a short review since to marvel over the story would probably lend itself to a bevy of spoilers. Enough to say, The Paris Apartment is an excellent read and while my first of Lucy Foley’s, won’t be my last.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.