“The Parisian Apartment” by Lucy Foley (HarperCollins)
It seems that the pandemic has also changed the publication schedule. This is at least a plausible explanation for why a juicy beach like “The Paris Apartment” falls during the coldest month of the year. But whether you’re packing it for a warm-weather trip or reading it indoors by a fire, the pages were certainly 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, who has arrived in Paris from London to visit her half-brother, Ben. “I never let a closed door stay closed for long,” she says, as she stands in her posh Parisian apartment building near a mysterious door marked “Cave.” It turns out that Ben has disappeared and that Jess gets no response from the inhabitants of 12, rue des Amants.
The back cover of the book is splashed with short descriptions of the characters as if they were the stars of “Gilligan’s Island”. There is Sophie, “the socialite”; Nick, “the nice guy”; Antoine, “the alcoholic”; Mimi, “the girl on point”; and “the janitor”. Of course, they are all suspicious and cannot be trusted even when telling their own chapters. But our plucky heroine Jess doesn’t just love opening doors, she’s also an amateur sleuth, piecing things together like a much younger, more fashionable Miss Marple.
Thriller fans can very well discover it before the outcome, but that does not make the trip less pleasant. Given how popular stories like these are 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