November 14, 2016

Book Review: The Paris Secret by Karen Swan

Not every door should be opened…

Somewhere along the cobbled streets of Paris, an apartment lies thick with dust and secrets: full of priceless artworks hidden away for decades.

High-flying fine art agent Flora from London, more comfortable with the tension of a million-pound auction than a cosy candlelit dinner for two, is called in to assess these suddenly discovered treasures. As an expert in her field, she must trace the history of each painting and discover who has concealed them for so long.

Thrown in amongst the glamorous Vermeil family as they move between Paris and Antibes, Flora begins to discover that things aren't all that they seem, while back at home her own family is recoiling from a seismic shock. The terse and brooding Xavier Vermeil seems intent on forcing Flora out of his family's affairs - but just what is he hiding?

I had read and enjoyed A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable so I picked up The Paris Secret, curious as to how Swan was going to fictionalize the real-life discovery of a Paris apartment which had been shut and undiscovered for 70 years.

Paris … and a mysterious apartment – of course I was already a captive audience. Swan’s interpretation of the apartment’s significance was very different from Gable’s (although it also involves priceless art), but no less intriguing. The dual timelines of the past alternating with the present heightened the suspense. I managed to tear through this book while waiting for my delayed flight at O’Hare airport. Somehow, it managed to make the interminable quite bearable for me.

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