Lucy Foley was the author of a book — The Guest List — about which I was somewhat ambiguous. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t like it. I recall that one of my biggest problems with that book was that I really didn’t like any of the characters. I have learned over my 60-some years of reading that it really helps me to enjoy a book if I like the characters.
I had somewhat of the same reaction to The Paris Apartment, a book by the same author.
The protagonist Jess is running from a crime she committed. She contacts her half brother Ben, a journalist who lives in a fancy apartment in Paris. He reluctantly agrees to let her stay with him for awhile. However, when she arrives, Ben is no where to be found. There are signs of a struggle, but no clues as to where he could be.
Jess begins trying to find her brother. The house in which the apartment is located is divided up into several apartments on different levels. Sophie and her husband Jacque are very wealthy, having made money from a wine empire. Nick lives on another floor, and has secrets of his own, including that he is gay. Antoine is an abusive husband whose wife leaves him early in the book. Mimi is quiet and mousy, and very much in love with Ben.
Jess suspects from the get go that each of these people have their own secrets, and the secrets are not good. Though they say they are willing to help her find her brother, it seems as though they all make finding him more difficult.
The storyline had flaws and inconsistencies, but the plot kept me reading. I tried very hard to figure out what happened to Ben and who among the group of shady characters was responsible for his disappearance. Some of the plot twists were predictable, but I will admit that the ending caught me by surprise.
I liked the book, but disliked the characters.