My first book by author Lucy Foley, I received The Paris Apartment as my Book of the Month pick earlier this year. I had heard good things about the book and was intrigued by the dark cover. Although I have never been to Paris, or France for that matter, the Paris aspect intrigued me. This book is about Jess, a young woman who is supposed to stay with her older brother Ben at his apartment in Paris, but when she turns up, he’s nowhere to be found. Much to the dismay of the residents in the apartment building, Jess finds her way inside, but can’t shake the feeling that she is being watched. Here is the book’s description:
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.
What I Liked About the Book
The Paris Apartment had some twists and turns that I did not see coming at all! Although there were some cliches throughout, I didn’t mind them because I felt they all fit into the overall, dark and puzzling vibe of the book. I can’t say that this was the best book I’ve ever read, nor is it one I would read again, but I will say I liked it better than Gone Girl (a book I thought was way too overhyped for what it was).
This book was slow-paced but had some surprises. I enjoyed it, although it felt very slow until about halfway through. The story is told through the eyes of multiple characters, making it all harder to feel connected to any of them. Jess is the main character, and her brother Ben is also an enigma throughout the book. Lucy Foley gives descriptions of him only through how the other characters perceived him. This also makes it hard to feel connected to finding Ben’s whereabouts. There was one character that I genuinely liked and wanted to know more about and that was Theo, a guy who ends up helping Jess figure out what Ben was up to. He’s only mentioned in a few moments throughout the book, and I hated that we didn’t learn more about him. But he seemed to be the only character who wasn’t lying about who he was.
My Verdict: “The Paris Apartment” is Worth Reading
Ultimately, this book is about 3.5 stars for me. I thought it was intriguing, and I genuinely enjoyed the twists, but overall, there were too many cliches that I had to roll my eyes at, and I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters. I do think this is worth reading if you enjoy thrillers or suspenseful novels. The book is relatively short, so if you can stick with the slow pacing in the beginning, you can read it pretty quickly.