#ReadWithMC Reviews 'The Paris Apartment'

"The main twist totally took me by surprise, to the point where I actually stopped reading and flipped back a few chapters to try and find the breadcrumbs I had missed."

(Image credit: William Morrow)

In March, we were up until all hours with MarieClaire.com's #ReadWithMC (opens in new tab) pick, The Paris Apartment—Lucy Foley's latest twisty, turny thriller about a woman who leaves her life in London only to get to her brother's Paris apartment to realize something is very, very wrong. 

We created #ReadWithMC to foster a community of book lovers (while holding us all accountable to finish!)—but to also curate authentic reviews and recommendations for women who find themselves wondering what to dive into next.

The Paris Apartment had a lot of what readers loved about Foley's other books—unpredictable plot twists and vivid settings.  As one reader put it: "I’m a huge fan of Lucy Foley—her books always deliver such excellent entertainment value + wanderlust-worthy settings, and the same is 1000% true of her new novel, The Paris Apartment."

Here, a sampling of more readers' thoughts about The Paris Apartment


"At last! My favourite author is back with another amazing thriller!

I adored The Hunting Party and The Guest List and so as soon as The Paris Apartment came out I knew I had to buy and read it straight away. Yet again, the settings are described beautifully, there’s enough characters to have multiple story lines and the twists come out of nowhere. I find Foley’s writing strangely comforting, you know what to expect with the multiple POVs, twists, turns, and wrapping it all up at the end of the book.

Saying this, I think this was my least favourite of the three books. Whether this was because the setting wasn’t as remote or isolated as usual, meaning there were slightly more outside characters, or more likely I read this while also battling COVID!

For me to read a book in under a week, with Covid and work is unheard of, so this must have been gripping to say the least!"

-@books.mf

"I have a fascination with the city of Paris after I was able to visit years ago and approached this novel with anticipation. And the premise initially reeled me in: An atmospheric spooky apartment building in Montmarte with mysterious inhabitants who all seem to have secrets and underlying motives. Perpetually down on her luck Jess arrives there, the reluctant guest of her journalist brother Ben, only to find him missing. No one seems to know where he is and no one seems to want to help find him.

As Jess begins to ask questions and search, it becomes clear that something sinister is unfolding. Ben’s investigation into a story lead has put him in real danger. The clock is ticking and Jess needs to find him before she also finds herself in jeopardy.

This promising premise devolves with the plethora of characters introduced and tangential plot lines muddy the cohesiveness of the story. The slow burn aspect of the thriller plods instead of simmers with tension. The plot twists seem transparent and I was aching for a resolution that failed to satisfy.

I’ve enjoyed past works by this author including The Hunting Party and The Guest List. Ultimately however, The Paris Apartment did not connect with me as a reader and failed to thrill."

-@suzylew_bookreview

"I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews of this one and while I really liked it in the beginning (even though it’s a slower burn), the ending tried to do too much and lost me.

What I liked:
🇫🇷 Great prologue to hook you
🇫🇷 Multiple pov
🇫🇷 Short chapters
🇫🇷 Cool setting of Paris and a gothic apartment complex
🇫🇷 Some good twists/reveals
🇫🇷 Fav characters: Sophie, Mimi, Concierge

What I didn’t like:
🇫🇷 A little overly descriptive/wordy and cliche at times
🇫🇷 Writing not my fav of hers
🇫🇷 Use of French with no translation
🇫🇷 A random steamy scene that seemed out of place
🇫🇷 Cramming too many, and at times over the top, twists/reveals at the end
🇫🇷 Some plot holes/ unnecessary plot lines

In the vein of @emilybookedup here’s my Lucy Foley ranking:
🥇 THE GUEST LIST (4.5)
🥈 THE HUNTING PARTY (4.5)
🥉 THE PARIS APARTMENT (3.5)

Although this wasn’t my favorite, I’ve definitely seen reviews of people that really liked it. If you are a fan of her other work or of Lisa Jewell, you might like this! A Sony subsidiary has the film rights, so this might be the case where I like the movie more than the book!"

-@readmorewithlaur

"📚 Rating: 4.5/5 stars

📖 Down-on-her-luck Jess heads to Paris to stay with her half-brother Ben—only to discover his apartment is empty and there is a building full of suspects who seem determined to keep her from finding the truth.

💭 THE PARIS APARTMENT is my favorite thriller of the year so far! The setting was fun, the characters were a good mix of lovable and hatable, and, once again for a Lucy Foley novel, the twists were on point. While I figured out some of the reveals a little early, the main twist totally took me by surprise, to the point where I actually stopped reading and flipped back a few chapters to try and find the breadcrumbs I had missed.

I’ve seen a few reviews calling THE PARIS APARTMENT a slow-burn thriller but I actually disagree—I felt there was a lot going on from the very first page, and I appreciated the way Foley’s pacing allowed for multiple small reveals over the course of the novel. I did think there were a few forgotten plot threads, which is what ultimately kept me from giving this a full five stars, and the book also fell prey to one of my personal pet peeves, scattering foreign language phrases without always translating them. But, nitpicking aside, I read this one in a day and a half and thoroughly enjoyed it…and I’m already counting down the days until whatever Foley writes next."

-@savvyrosereads

"When Jess arrives at her brother Ben’s new apartment in Paris, ready to escape from her old life in London, he is nowhere to be found. What she unearths within the first few hours of being there tells her something terrible has happened to her brother. But what…and why…

I can see where the mixed reviews are coming from with this one; however, I really enjoy it. There is just something so unique about Lucy Foley’s writing that I cannot quite put my finger on - some sort of twisty madness mixed with things that go bump in the night, and I just love it every time.

While this one had a whole different vibe from her other thrillers, it shares some of the same stylistic techniques, from the short chapters told by different characters, to the cliff hanger chapter endings that make you want to keep reading. In addition, her description of this lux, overwhelming, and shadowy apartment complex is so detailed, I can see every square inch in my mind’s eye. This helped me stay engaged as the action unfolded.

I will agree that there was a chunk towards the middle that felt like it dragged a bit. However, overall, I felt fully submersed in that secluded and creepy Paris apartment, right along with Jess, trying to figure out whodunit and what had been done."

-@marenreads

Kate Storey is a contributing editor at Marie Claire and writer-at-large at Esquire magazine, where she covers culture and politics. Kate's writing has appeared in ELLE, Harper's BAZAAR, Town & Country, and Cosmopolitan, and her first book comes out in summer 2023.