Audiobook Review: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.
Mogsy’s Rating (Overall): 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: HarperAudio (February 22, 2022)
Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
Another delectable mystery from Lucy Foley, The Paris Apartment was a bit different from what I’ve read from her before, but it was no less addictive and riveting! The story follows Jess Hadley who has just arrived in Paris, newly jobless and not looking to go back home to England anytime soon, where she has burned all her bridges. Paris is where her older half-brother Ben lives, and she’s hoping that she can lay low at his apartment for a while. Even though he didn’t sound too happy on the phone when she told him her plans, Jess thought he would at least be there to meet her at the door. But when she arrives at the gates of his fancy building, Ben is nowhere to be found, and there’s no answer on his phone when she tries to call either. Inside his apartment, Jess also finds it empty, but there are disturbing signs that her brother might be in trouble.
On her quest to find Ben, Jess gets to know the neighbors, and what a strange bunch they are! There’s Nick Miller, Ben’s old friend from Cambridge, who seems like a super nice guy but she’s pretty sure he’s hiding something. Then there’s Antoine, an abusive alcoholic whose temper hasn’t been improved after his wife left him. In the penthouse apartment is also Sophie, the swanky older lady who lives with her husband Jacques, always proper but chilly and aloof. As well, there’s Mimi and Camille, a pair of college roommates who are as different as you can imagine. And finally, there’s the elderly concierge, her watchful eyes always keeping track of the building’s residents.
If you enjoy a good mystery, The Paris Apartment will keep you reading into the night. Ben is missing, his fate uncertain, but Jess is trying to stay positive. The only clues are an interrupted message he left on her phone, a cat with blood-stained fur, and a pair of ladies’ underwear found in his bed. Alone in an unfamiliar city with no money, no contacts, and barely a grasp on the language, Jess has few resources and even fewer leads. Her only hope is that one of Ben’s neighbors might have heard of seen something, but whether they are willing to help is another matter entirely.
In this book, everyone has secrets. As the story cycles through the various perspectives, readers have the opportunity to find out more about each character, the pieces gradually coming together to form the full picture. Not everyone is pleased at Jess’ arrival, which doesn’t surprise her. Our protagonist isn’t exactly your typical sleuth: she’s broken and a bit rough around the edges, a product of the foster care system, bounced around from home to home. She’s nothing like charming and well put together Ben, who is much older than she is, adopted early into a warm loving family and given everything he’s ever wanted.
There are times when Jess worries that she cares more about Ben than he cares about her, but at the end of the day, while they may live in two different worlds, he is all that she has left. Love her or hate her, you can’t help but admire her fierce determination and strength of purpose. Sometimes she shows a lot of agency, her actions driving the entire story, but there are also moments where she is helplessly swept along with the tide of events, when the other characters come into play. Nick, Antoine, Sophie, Jacques, Mimi and Camille—all of them have important roles, and when the connections between them finally come to light, it’s guaranteed to be a shocker.
While it might not adhere all that strongly to the classic whodunnit tradition, The Paris Apartment is probably my favorite book by the author so far. I didn’t even mind that the ending was a bit farfetched, because at least I had a lot of fun getting there. The audiobook was also a great listen, read by multiple narrators which made it feel very immersive, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.