I love Paris. The architecture is amazingly beautiful and it’s a gorgeous city full of great things to do and wonderful art work (mustn’t forget the pastries either). When I saw the title of this book, I was immediately curious about what the premise of the story would be. Reading the back cover copy let me know it was exactly up my alley in the world of genre fiction.
The story is told from the point of view of six characters in alternating chapters. The girl who is seeking her brother; the matronly, dignified Parisian lady of leisure—and snobbery; a younger girl who is a bit of a lonely heart and loner; a man who is an old friend of the brother being sought; the building’s concierge; and another man who is a drunken lout.
All of the above people live in the same apartment building except the girl seeking her brother. He lives on the third floor and when she arrives to stay with him, he’s nowhere to be found.
Worried as her last communication with him was he’d be waiting up for her, she makes every effort to find him. His wallet, his keys, and his scooter are still where they belong.
As she makes her way to talk to each resident about where her brother might be, mysteries abound. She finds a secret passage in the walls of the building and learns they were used by the Nazis when they occupied Paris.
She seeks out the police but they seem unconcerned even though she found blood in her brother’s apartment as well as on his cat. One of the residents returns to the police with her, as he is fluent in French and she is not, and they then promise to try to find him. But it still doesn’t seem to her that they are going to take any action.
As she investigates, weird things keep happening such as her getting locked in a wine cellar which may or may not have been an intentional act. Shenanigans at a Halloween party lead her to doubt who she can trust. Overheard conversations between other residents also cause her to worry. The questions deepen with every page and conversation. This is a great mystery story with a lot of twists and turns. It’s atmospheric and dark in places but all in all, it’s a very satisfying, suspenseful read. One big twist in the story was late in the game but it was an interesting turn and I quite enjoyed the premise as well as the journey to the solution