Paris in July - The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

We are entering into the fourth week of Paris in July.  Thank you to Deb at Readerbuzz and Tamara at Thyme-for-tea who are co-hosting this year's event. I have still to read some of your posts, and are enjoying the variety of topics. 

I have read The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley for this event. I loved her novels The Guest List and The Hunting Party and it was with great anticipation I started this Paris story. 

"Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbours are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge

Everyone’s a neighbour. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling. "

The structure of the book is more, or less, the same as the other two books. It is told from the perspective of different persons living in the house. Jess tries to find out what happened to her brother, and asks around in the house. She can feel the animosity from the neighbours, without really understanding why. As her private investigation takes her further into the rather narrow circle of the neighbours, more and more questions arise. 

Unfortunately, neither the story, nor the characters did interest me. I found most of them rather boring. The story line did not hold the whole way. The characterisation was poor. Even if it was different people telling the story, they all sounded the same. The only reason I continued this book (apart from it being part of Paris in July) is that I wanted to know what happened to Ben. Even the revealing of the actual story line in the end, did nothing to improve my views.

In a way a little bit sad, because her other two books were really excellent. Maybe Foley, who I think actually spent some time in Paris to write the book, was more concerned with the milieu than the story. In the other two books the stories are tightly held together, while here, it spreads in all directions. I am not really sure I got anything out of the Paris descriptions either. For a more Parisian atmosphere, I think we have to find another book. I have not given up on Foley though. She seems to have written a few other books I would like to try. 


Comments

  1. This reminds me of a book I just read with a different title, different author and slightly different premise -- but I have begun to think that they are all the same. It seems as though there are two Paris genres -- Paris in WWII with women involved in the resistance in one way or another or contemporary women in some sort of personal crisis. I'm glad you reviewed this --but I think I'll be giving it a pass!

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    1. I think you can give this one a pass Jeanie, but her other two books that I refer two were very good. You are right, I see a lot of reviews on female spies or resistance workers these days.

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  2. I was disappointed in this book, too. The Paris setting seemed thrown in, and I wasn't interested in the characters.

    I've told several people to strike it from their TBR. A waste of time, I think.

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    1. You are right Deb, there are other better books to read. I saw your review on Goodreads.

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  3. That's a shame when a book disappoints. I've also just reviewed one that didn't live up to expectations.

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    1. I read about it Brona. Well, that is what happens sometimes. Usually, I would just have let it go, but since it was for Paris in July I did continue. These days I don't continue with books I don't find interesting. There are so many books to read, so why waste time reading those you don't like.

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  4. Jeanie's explanation is intriguing: that there some plots that are used to death, and one of them is in your book. She did a great job when she reviewed a book with another version of this. But if you want something different, try a book written by a French person! Like Jeanie, I'll give it a pass.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Mae. I will try out a French author for sure. I read mostly thrillers by French authors, but it is never too late to look for something else.

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  5. I have this but haven't managed to read it. I agree with your suggestion of the two different types of Paris books. Pretty much anyway!

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    1. I don't think you have to read it Marg. There are other 'Paris' books much better.

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  6. Lately I keep starting novels and finding the characters boring, so I sympathize with you! It's really disappointing when you've enjoyed some of an author's other books.

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    1. Yes Lory, it is true. If you like the books of a certain author, the rest are usually fine as well.

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