The Paris Apartment
By: Lucy Foley
Mystery / Thriller
Overall: Jess needs to get out of London, so she asks her half-brother if she can crash with him for a while. He is not excited about this unexpected visit, but agrees anyway and leaves her a voicemail with his address in Paris. But, when Ben’s sister Jess arrives to the address he told her, she is first very surprised by the fact that her brother can afford to live in such a beautiful French apartment in Paris. Secondly, she is surprised to find out that her brother is not home. He is not there to buzz her in, and once she does get into his apartment on her own after picking the lock, Ben is not there at all. However, oddly his keys and wallet are still there. Also there, broken on the floor, is his St. Christopher medal necklace, that matches her own, that their mother gave them, and that they never take off.
Jess goes around the building to talk to the other tenants to ask if any of them know where her brother Ben is. The tenants range from indifferent to hostile in response to her asking questions about his disappearance. Strangely, not many of them seem surprised by the fact that he is missing. She does not speak French, and has no choice but to start looking into his disappearance on her own. All of the people who live in his building are suspicious, and most are not at all friendly to her. The apartment building itself is very old and has hidden passageways and strange attic rooms no one goes into or tells her about. The more she investigates, the more the other residents of the building want her to leave. Only one of them is at all friendly towards her, supposedly a friend of her brother, and says he will help her look for Ben. However, Jess soon discovers that he may just be helping her to get close and find out what she is doing. She does not know if her brother is just missing, or kidnapped, or alive, or dead. The more she uncovers, the deeper and more tangled the mysteries get. Despite the increasing dangers, Jess is determined to find out what happened to her brother.
Ovations: I loved the Paris setting of the book! I love almost any book set in Paris! The beautiful, old, Paris apartment building where they all lived was like its own character in the book. I liked the strong, brave, tough, resourceful, independent, able-to-take-care-of-herself, female, lead character Jess. I liked that each chapter was from a different character’s point of view. It kept switching back and forth in each of the short chapters to a different person’s point of view. It was not confusing because there were not that many characters. It helps you really get to know the characters better and what they are thinking and what their motivations are. It really helped me get involved in the plot more. The plot is well paced, keeps you guessing with lots of new clues and information. The story was complex and entertaining. I always wanted to keep reading to find out
what happens next. It kept me guessing and I could not figure out how it was going to end at all.
Oh Well: The only thing I can think of about this book that could have been better is that most of the book takes place in the apartment building itself and you don’t get to enjoy the magical and romantic atmosphere of the beautiful city of Paris in the book at all really.
Opinion: This is a wonderful, atmospheric, mystery / thriller set in Paris. It is interesting, complex, and full of twists and turns that will keep you on your toes. There is a nice surprise ending that you will not guess. I recommend this book, as well as Lucy Foley’s last mystery/ thriller book too called, The Guest List, which I also rated a 10. The rating for this book is also a 10 out of 10