“The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley (HarperCollins)
It seems the pandemic has altered the publishing calendar as well. That’s at least one plausible explanation for why a juicy beach read like “The Paris Apartment” is dropping during the coldest month of the year. But whether you pack it away for a trip to warmer weather or read it indoors by a fire, the pages were most definitely written to be turned quickly.
In her third thriller (“The Guest List” and “The Hunting Party”) Lucy Foley keeps you guessing with multiple first person narrators and short chapters designed to leave you hanging. The star of this twisted tale is Jess, arriving in Paris from London to visit her half-brother, Ben. “I’ve never let a closed door stay closed for long,” she narrates, while standing in his swanky Paris apartment building near a mysterious door marked, “Cave.” Turns out Ben is missing and Jess can’t get any answers from the denizens of number 12, rue des Amants.
The back cover of the book splashes short descriptions of the characters like they’re the stars of “Gilligan’s Island.” There’s Sophie, “the socialite;” Nick, “the nice guy;” Antoine, “the alcoholic;” Mimi, “the girl on the verge;” and “the concierge.” Of course, they’re all suspicious and can’t be trusted, even when they’re narrating their own chapters. But our plucky heroine Jess not only likes to open doors, she’s quite the amateur detective, piecing things together like a much younger and more fashionable Miss Marple.
Fans of whodunits may very well sleuth it out before the denouement, but that doesn’t make the journey any less enjoyable. Given the popularity of stories like these on streaming platforms, don’t be surprised to see it on Hulu or another app someday soon. Until then, read the source material.
Rob Merrill, The Associated Press