HarperCollins | 3 March 2022 | 416 pgs
Source: Purchased 

Lucy Foley is a master when it comes to creating suspense in her stories. This is what I've learned after reading The Guest List and The Hunting Party; and this book is no exception. 

Right from the beginning, you feel there's something off about the old building at No. 12 Rue des Amants, set in Paris. At the heart of this story is Benjamin and Jess, in which the former has disappeared from his apartment from the above-mentioned building after inviting his half-sister to stay with him for the time being. Jess isn't happy with her job at a bar and her life in London, so she thought it'd be good to leave the city and look for Benjamin instead. After all, it's been a while since they've met each other. 

But upon Jess's arrival, Benjamin didn't answer to her calls. With no one to turn to and with limited financials, she's no choice but to break into the apartment building. But, she's left with an unsettling feeling after letting herself into Benjamin's unit for there is still no sight of Benjamin. Jess, however, did get to know a few residents (even the old concierge who seems to be watching everything) after a few nights there. As much as they're polite to Jess, they're not forthcoming with any info when it comes to Benjamin. Their sometimes aloof and secretive demeanour further leave Jess in jittery on top of Benjamin's disappearance and the reader would soon find out the secrets at No. 12 Rue des Amants through Jess's eyes. 

I've to say this was a compelling read despite there wasn't many actions surrounding the story. That said, the suspense and the foreboding atmosphere was great. The cast of characters are intriguing and for once, I was glad to note that there's at least someone I could root for in a suspense genre like this - Jess. She's determined and courageous, yet her recklessness at times had left me quite worried for her safety (yes, she's a survivor and I liked her for that). Her interactions with the residents are the highlights of this story; and despite Benjamin's minimal existence in this story, he did project an unforgettable impression of his wits and charms through the residents' account. The ending was a surprise, but not to an extent that wowed me. Still, it made an enjoyable, engaging read and all the more I read this together with my bookblogger friend, Lark. Go check out her review here and read what she thought about this book. 
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12 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    This was a fun read, wasn't it? Glad we were able to read it together. And great review as always, Melody! :D

  2. Melody Says:

    Lark - Thank you, Lark! I'm glad we read this together. It was definitely a fun read and I always enjoy our book discussions in between our reading. :D

  3. Kay Says:

    I had seen this book and wondered about it. I'll likely try it now. Kind of reminds me a bit of one of Riley Sager's books - not the same story, but hints of things. Glad you and Lark do these duo-reads for all of us! Thanks!

  4. Melody Says:

    Kay - I'll be curious of your thoughts if you read this book, Kay. Can't remember that title by Riley Sager you mentioned, but I've enjoyed most of his earlier works. I'm looking forward to reading his latest book, The House Across the Lake.

  5. I keep hearing good things about this one. I haven't yet read any of Foley's novels, although I think I have another one of her books on my TBR shelf. I am glad you enjoyed this one!

  6. Harvee Says:

    Glad you enjoyed it. The action was too slow for me and I didn't really finish it.

  7. Greg Says:

    I liked this one too and I LOVED the atmosphere.

  8. I've read two of her previous books and thought they were ok. I've heard a lot of good things about this one, so I may give it a try. I'm curious about Benjamin!

  9. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I hope you'll enjoy her books when you get to them, Wendy!

  10. Melody Says:

    Harvee - I agree there wasn't much actions in the beginning but the cast of characters kept me intrigued.

  11. Melody Says:

    Greg - Yes, the atmosphere was the strength of this story. Lucy Foley is a pro in this area and I'm curious what she'll write next.

  12. Melody Says:

    Diana - I'll be curious of your thoughts if you read it, Diana!

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