Dark Thrill reviews: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Lucy Foley has a knack for selecting captivating locations for her gripping thrillers. A Parisian apartment serves as a perfect backdrop for a thriller, as it accentuates the unnerving discomfort that most foreigners experience when they set foot in the city of Lights. The allure and stunning beauty of Paris are unmistakable, but it also feels unattainable, and the common perception is that Parisians are snobbish and unfriendly. Therefore, it is easy to relate to Jess, the British protagonist, who has recently been fired and is currently down-on-her-luck, as she seeks refuge at her half-brother's apartment, a British journalist named Ben Daniels. However, upon her arrival, she discovers that Ben is nowhere to be found, and from the opening scene, it is evident that something terrible may have occurred to him. Although Jess and Ben have been estranged, with their paths diverging when Jess was placed in foster homes while Ben was fortunate enough to be taken in by a wealthy family, Jess still cares about her half-brother. Despite feeling distanced from him, Jess is sharp-witted, perceptive, and determined. As an outsider, being ostracized by the residents of this stunning place does not faze her too much. She is accustomed to being an outsider, and she effortlessly infiltrates these paneled walls, uncovering everyone's secrets. While The Guest List is Lucy Foley's masterpiece, this novel is equally enjoyable, utilizing isolation, setting, dread, and suspense masterfully, as demonstrated in her previous work. The story is presented through a multiple POV lens, providing readers with an advantage, yet we are still kept in the dark. Ben exudes the vibe of a con man, using his charm and good looks to assimilate with this crowd to achieve his goals. We are almost privy to the attack, but the final blow remains a mystery. As we deftly hop from the modest concierge pied a terre to the opulent penthouse, we are drawn in by these individuals and their secrets. Jess quickly meets Nick Miller, Ben's friend from Cambridge University, who offers to assist her in locating Ben. With his assistance, Jess becomes acquainted with the other inhabitants, including Sophie and Jacques Meunier, a couple living in a luxurious apartment, the menacing Antoine, the two girls living together, the mousy Mimi and flirty Camille, and the creepy concierge, whose stalkerish chapters were particularly enjoyable. It is impossible not to identify with Jess, and she provides us with a guidebook on how to deal with the enigmatic Parisians by staying true to oneself. A highly likable character and a compelling thriller.