Well I absolutely adored this latest book from Karen Swan. She never disappoints and I know I always say it after every book but this one is my favorite (till the next one!)
First off the cover is beautiful and very striking with a backdrop of Paris.
For this novel Karen Swan drew inspiration from an event which made the French headlines several years ago in a Parisian apartment which had only been discovered - it had been locked since the war and inside it was almost as if time stood still since the day the owner departed. Inside this apartment was a trove of paintings.
The Paris Secret begins in the middle of this night when two men break into an apartment only to discover that is empty and covered in dust it appears to have been abandoned. But when they move further in to the apartment they find a crate in a bedroom and inside is something which will change the lives of one French family - spilling out secrets that were long ago buried and untold truths slowly start resurface.
We then meet Flora Sykes who is taking a short break at home with her family, a brief interlude from dealing with the hectic art world. She travels a lot with her work as a fine art advisor working for her boss Angus. Her father was an auctioneer at Christie's until his retirement so that is how Flora got her love of art. Her mother is a worrier and always worrying about something but she finds that Flora's older brother, Freddie, is acting strangely and we do not discover the reason until towards the end of the book. The suspense!
When Flora returns to London she receives a message from Angus saying that she urgently needs to get herself to Paris. The prominent, Vermeil family, have been in contact with him as they have just discovered they are owners of an apartment that they never new existed until there has been a break-in and a note left. This must all be dealt with in the strictest of confidences for as long as possible.
This is no ordinary apartment as Angus and Flora soon discover. It has been left exactly in the same condition since the last inhabitant fled during the war. This is an intriguing case for any art expert. Inside the apartment it is like a treasure trove of antiques and paintings. Flora's task set by the Vermeil's, Lillian and Jacques, is to catalogue everything that she finds in the apartment. They are hoping that all this can be sold. This takes Flora to Vienna to one of the Vermeil family homes to start cataloguing the collection and it is there she meets Xavier the owners son a who is a brooding mysterious character who despite herself Flora finds herself attracted to.
Soon we discover the identity of the real owner of the apartment and that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye and this makes for a very interesting and absorbing read.
I couldn't recommend The Paris Secret highly enough. It is such a page turner that will keep you reading it in one sitting. She brings this amazing true life story to life right from the very first page. I can't wait for her next book!