Read The Apartment by S.L. Grey Online


A high-concept psychological chiller about a troubled married couple on a house swap from hell. An Anchor Original.Mark and Steph live an idyllic life with their young daughter in sunny Cape Town until one day when three men in masks violently break in. Traumatized but physically unharmed, Mark and Steph are unable to return to normal and are living in constant fear. WhenA high-concept psychological chiller about a troubled married couple on a house swap from hell. An Anchor Original.Mark and Steph live an idyllic life with their young daughter in sunny Cape Town until one day when three men in masks violently break in. Traumatized but physically unharmed, Mark and Steph are unable to return to normal and are living in constant fear. When a friend suggests they take a restorative vacation abroad via a popular house-swapping website, it sounds like the perfect plan. They find a nice artistic couple with a charming apartment in Paris who would love to come to Cape Town. How could Mark and Steph resist the idyllic, light-strewn pictures, and the promise of a romantic getaway? But once they arrive in Paris, they quickly realize that nothing is as advertised. As their perfect holiday takes a deadly turn, the cracks in their relationship grow ever wider and dark secrets from Mark’s past begin to emerge.Deftly alternating between two complex and compelling narrators, The Apartment is a terrifying tour de force of horror, of psychological thrills, and of chilling suspense....

Title : The Apartment
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781101972946
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Apartment Reviews

  • Melissa
    2019-01-19 05:29

    Another book that failed to live up to the hype.Being peddled as a “terrifying tour de force of horror” leads one to have certain expectations. And frankly, this story didn’t even come close to hitting that mark, for this reader. Dull, dreary and mundane is the best way I can describe this so-called “high-concept psychological chiller”.I have to give the author credit though for hooking me in with the opening of the story. In the back of my mind, I was all set for a dark and sinister version of The Holiday. You know, the movie where Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz switch houses for a much needed break? Forget it. Erase that thought; I was mistaken.Needing a breather, but low on cash, Mark and Steph turn to a house swapping website. They make plans with a couple to swap their Cape Town home for what appears to be a charming place in the heart of Paris. Sounds perfect, right? I mean, what couple wouldn’t enjoy a week in the ‘city of love’? Add a horror twist and you just might have a great story on your hands, but wait - hold that thought.There were so many things that had me scratching my head. Things that didn’t add up. If you can spend money fixing up your own place; new sheets, towels and high-end groceries for the guests, why not just spend the money and get a hotel? I know house swapping is a legit thing, but it wasn’t realistic to me that this couple would put their trust in the hands of strangers. Not after what they just went through.Admittedly, the apartment is a shit show when they show up. It’s basically an abandoned and decrepit building. You can’t help but to wonder why this couple would swindle Mark and Steph. What’s their end game? There’s no denying the setting lends an eerie feeling to the story, but that’s where it stopped for me. For the majority of their trip, I was desperate for something big to happen - something scary, suspenseful or even a tiny bit interesting. As the ending approached, the story took a dive into bizarre territory, but I can’t say I was scared or even shocked by what was going down. Honestly, this scenario has been done many times before and I have to say, I’ve seen it executed in a much more interesting way.“I’m sorry it had to be you.”From the beginning, I thought this story had a ton of potential, but I feel like it missed the mark. Big time. I’m utterly confused about the horror classification and the notion that this was supposed to come across as terrifying. Of course, take this review for what it is, just the opinion of an admittedly picky reader. A miss for me might turn out to be a winner for you.*Thank you to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    2019-01-04 12:03

    Unfortunately this one didn't quite live up to expectations for me. This was marketed as horror; a supposedly chilling and terrifying read that ended up being more of a slow building suspense that didn't quite work for me in the end. I can see how this is a hard one to place in a specific genre; it wasn't quite horror, psychological suspense, or a thriller, but it did have elements of each of those bent into one mash up. I think I was just not the right reader for this one; grateful for the opportunity to read it from NetGalley and the publisher.

  • Erin Clemence
    2019-01-14 07:19

    “The Apartment” by S.L Grey is not for the faint of heart. It is definitely a horror novel, filled with paranormal activity, hauntings, suicide and things that go bump in the night. For these reasons, and many others, I LOVED it. Steph and Mark haven’t been the same since the day their apartment was burglarized by three young men in masks. Although no one was hurt, Mark can’t keep replaying the incident and Steph can’t stop blaming Mark for not doing more to protect her and their daughter. To escape their haunted memories, Steph and Mark decide to embark on a house-swapping adventure in Paris. However, the apartment they stay in is nothing like advertised- dark, dingy, abandoned and full of secrets. When Mark and Steph come early from their vacation, it seems as if a dark force still lingers with them and when Mark starts behaving strangely, Steph must figure out what has happened to her husband. What did they bring home with them from Paris and most importantly- how do they get rid of it?This novel was gripping and addictive in every way. Similar to Andrew Pyper or Stephen King in its dark, macabre style, “The Apartment” was disturbing and creepy, in all the good ways. S.L Grey writes a satisfying thriller that pulled me in from page one. Each chapter alternates perspectives, telling the story from both Steph and Mark’s point of view, leaving the reader with a complete picture of the events (as they each recollect them). The writing is spot on, and the action never stops, each chapter pulling you farther and farther into the terrifying world of grief and possession. The ending is one hell of a shocker too, and completely unexpected. This novel plays out like a Hollywood movie, with its dark scenes of gore and terror, and is definitely not to be missed. S.L Grey must write another novel immediately- I will wait on the edge of my seat in gripping suspense until then.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2019-01-17 10:01

    Find all of my reviews at: night the unthinkable happened . . . . .I’m left with a book I read over a week ago that I won’t remember reading given another couple to review and really only one thing on my mind to say to anyone reading this: Dear America . . . . And also to Hillary Clinton: YOU ARE TERRIBLE AT RIGGING ELECTIONS! Alright, so The Apartment has been categorized as Horror, but for most fans of that genre you’re probably going to find it bigly not horrifying. The plot of the story is Mark and Steph were victims of a terrifying break-in and have had a hard time getting back to normal ever since. The couple decides a vacation from their problems might fix what ails them and uses an “airbnb” sort of house-swapping site. Confession time: This one kind of lost me immediately because even when I’m not reading a horror novel my mind immediately thinks this type of house swap would really end up being this when I reached my destination . . . . It doesn’t take long for Mark and Steph to realize something is off about the apartment and from there you end up with a typical storyline of . . . . My friend Char has written an actual review that pretty much sums up all of the problems I had with this story. My only word for this one at the given moment is MEH.

  • Anne Goldschrift
    2018-12-29 13:15

    Das ist dann wohl der erste Flop des Jahres 😒

  • Char
    2018-12-24 08:16

    Most of my problems with this book originated with this statement in the book's synopsis:"The Apartment is a terrifying and tour-de-force of horror, of psychological thrills, and of haunting suspense."I'm sorry to report that for me, it was NOT any of these things.A South African couple survives a home invasion/robbery physically unscathed but emotionally beaten and drained. At the suggestion of a friend, they decided to do an apartment swap with another couple from Paris. They have basically no money since the robbery and this is a good way for them to get out of their house on the cheap. Instead of being the romantic vacation they had hoped for, they arrive in Paris to find a nearly abandoned building and a disgusting, filthy apartment. My issues start right here at the beginning of the story. After having their homeinvadedand robbed by strangers, why oh why would they want to turn it over to another set of strangers? That made no sense to me. (There are a few other things that bothered me about this as well, for example, the couple buying the swappers fancy sheets and whatnot before they leave, when they have NO money!)Up to this point, I was engaged with the story and I figured the good stuff, (you know, the aforementioned tour-de-force of horror), would happen once they got settled into the Paris apartment, but no. Paris turns into a nightmare for them financially due to credit card problems, and they have an ugly run-in with the only other resident of the building, Mireille. There are also a few unsettling incidents in the apartment, but again, nothing really horrific. When they returned home early from their trip, I couldn't figure out where the story was going, but once it finally got there, I WAS satisfied. I liked how the story was related- with alternating chapters between Mark and Stephanie, and I admit to enjoying the denouement very much. However, it took way too long in getting there and again, (I know I'm harping), it was not a tour-de-force of anything, except maybe for boring. Without that tagline raising my expectations, I might have enjoyed this novel more, but I was expecting to be WOWED and it never happened. By the time things DID happen I was so bored their impact was severely diminished. Of course, all of this is just my opinion, your mileage may vary.*Thanks to Edelweiss, Blumhouse Books and the author for the free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

  • Laura
    2018-12-23 07:16

    Mark and Steph recently went through a trauma and now they just need to get away. With a low budget, there’s little the couple can afford making the possible vacation seem unlikely when a friend suggests house-swapping. It worked out great for their friend. There seems to be unlimited destinations. Paris sounds nice. Why not? It appears to be the opportunity of a lifetime. So when Steph posts looking for inquiries and hears back from a nice Parisian couple interested in the swap, it’s too sweet to resist! When they arrive and things aren’t quite as advertised, it becomes clear that this is not the getaway they were hoping for.The story alternates between Mark and Steph’s POV making for an interesting reading experience as you never quite know all that is going on or if you can fully trust either as a narrator. There are numerous odd, creepy things that occur throughout. I kept waiting for something big to happen - something explosive where all those creepy moments that occurred throughout finally amount to something..anything really. The ending felt like it came out of left field and didn’t match up with the plot. That’s fine, I guess. Only I thought I was getting a horror version of the movie The Holiday and was ultimately let down.This is one of those books where the premise is everything, yet the execution fails to measure up..

  • March Shoggoth Madness The Haunted Reading Room
    2019-01-18 05:14

    Review: THE APARTMENT by S. L. GreyThis story is non-stop horror. I seem not to have breathed through the duration of the read, and I'm sure its themes will manage to infest my dreams. The author does a marvelous job of balancing on a knife edge not only the protagonists [two, a married couple, alternating well-written first-person narrative], but also the reader. We remain on tenterhooks as we constantly endeavor to determine whether the causes are supernatural in origin, or simply a run of bad circumstances exacerbating the psychological decline of a grieving, troubled, mind. I know my perspectives have changed for having read it.

  • Sheila
    2019-01-15 08:26

    This is a tough one to rate. I didn't really enjoy reading this book, but it was really well done as far as creating an unsettling tone. I guess that's how I'd describe this book: it's unrelentingly unsettling. This is the story of one family's dissolution, and because of that, it's not easy to read. Bad things just keep happening (and happening and happening). And lurking behind all this human misery is something that might possibly be supernatural.I had a hard time connecting with the characters--both of the main characters were pretty unlikeable. But I still managed to feel sorry for them.I can definitely see Sarah Lotz's influence here (she's a coauthor)--she seems to have a knack for spooky, dark reads.

  • Blair
    2019-01-08 07:18

    Well, I had a blast with this – the most fun book of its type I've read since Tammy Cohen's When She Was Bad. I'd definitely categorise The Apartment mainly as a psychological thriller, but it also has elements of horror.S.L. Grey is the pseudonym of Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg, and the authors make good use of their team-up by employing a 'he said/she said' narrative here, with alternating chapters told by a husband and wife. The husband is Mark, a beleaguered lecturer, and his (much younger) wife is Stephanie, a writer and stay-at-home mum. They live in Cape Town with their two-year-old daughter Hayden, and at the start of the book they've recently endured the traumatic experience of a home invasion. Though nobody was harmed, Mark and Steph have been left shaken and paranoid, they're skint after shelling out for a state-of-the-art security system, and their relationship hasn't quite been the same since. When Steph gets fixated on the idea of a holiday to Paris and her parents offer to pay for the flights and look after Hayden, the couple head off for what they hope will be a revitalising getaway – arranging a home swap with a French couple, the Petits, to save on the cost of a hotel.I loved the characters here. The multiple-narrators approach is familiar from other novels I've read by both Grey (Under Ground) and Lotz (The Three, Day Four), but having just two rather than an ensemble cast allows so much more room for Mark and Steph to be developed. Both protagonists are portrayed with degrees of light and shade, with Steph more likeable and Mark more complex. The back-and-forth between them works well because there are no life-changing secrets here, just the small, ordinary things couples keep from one another. At least at first.When Mark and Steph reach the Petits' apartment, they anticipate a chic Parisian pad; they get a dirty, run-down flat that looks like nobody's inhabited it for decades. The building is almost empty, with the sole resident an elderly, eccentric artist who repeatedly tells Mark that the apartment is 'not for living'. Her broken English means there's a key word missing from that phrase... and it's not long before things begin to go bump in the night, with the dream holiday quickly becoming a nightmare. Both Mark and Steph make strange discoveries in the apartment; Mark sees visions from his past, or does he?; and the Petits seem to have vanished off the face of the earth.The bloody conclusion of The Apartment is all the more horrifying for its uncertainty. (view spoiler)[Was there ever a haunting, or are we to assume Mark was driven mad by grief? (hide spoiler)] For whatever reason, this book – not particularly well-reviewed elsewhere – worked brilliantly for me, with everything coming together to create an intoxicating blend of tension, emotional impact, and just the right amount of horror. It's (a very lightweight) Gone Girl meets Don't Look Now meets The Tenant.TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2019-01-02 13:28

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum a huge fan of author Sarah Lotz, naturally I just had to check out The Apartment, since she’s one half of the writing duo of S.L. Grey. While I’ve never read anything by her collaborator Louis Greenberg, I do know he’s quite an accomplished dark fantasy and horror writer as well, and together the two of them have created something truly startling here.The book is told through the eyes of a married couple from Cape Town, South Africa. Mark Sebastian is a middle-aged English professor struggling both personally and financially after a terrible event seven years ago had shattered his first marriage. Steph is a young woman who had to put her life on hold after she got pregnant and married Mark, deciding to be a stay-at-home parent to take care of their young daughter Hayden. Despite the couple’s difficulties though, the Sebastians’ marriage was loving, happy, and idyllic—that is, until their home was violently invaded by three masked men who threatened Mark and Steph at knife point and robbed them of their already meager possessions.Unfortunately, while the family came out of that agony physically unharmed, the psychological trauma has taken its toll. Mark and Steph are unable to return to their normal lives, due to the constant fear and paranoia. So when a friend refers them to a house-swapping website and suggests that they take a nice relaxing vacation, the two of them are intrigued by this money-saving option. Almost right away, Steph connects with the owners of a charming little apartment in Paris, a young couple who would just love to visit Cape Town and stay at the Sebastians’ place. Despite a few lingering doubts, Mark and Steph decide to take the leap and plans are swiftly made for childcare and travel. After all, who can resist the draw of the city of light and love?However, once they arrive in Paris, their dream vacation quickly spirals out of control and becomes a living nightmare. Instead of rest and romance, they find only darkness and terror.Before I go further, there are some quibbles I have to mention. The first and biggest discrepancy that leaped out at me was, of course, Mark and Steph’s decision to agree to a house-swap in the first place, opening their house to complete strangers after we’ve been repeatedly told how uncomfortable and traumatized they were following their home invasion. I would think that the last thing they’d want is to have more unfamiliar people coming into their private living space, sleeping in their beds, eating off their plates, handling their personal belongings, etc. (I thought maybe it was just me, but after seeing other reviews that also point out how this made no sense, I actually feel somewhat vindicated.) More of these puzzling irregularities pop up especially once the characters arrive in Paris—leaving aside the fact they’re quite possibly with the worst credit card company in the world, I also don’t think they tried anywhere near hard enough to exhaust all possible options before resigning themselves to stay in that awful, freaky apartment. If it were me, I would have found some cheap hostel or even slept on a bench at the train station before going back to that place.Still, despite a few things that didn’t add up, I had a really enjoyable time with this novel. The tensions are thick enough that I was happy to push aside those little inconsistencies if it meant I could just sit back and let the story take me where it wanted to go. Indeed, what I appreciated most about this book was its atmosphere. There was a gradual shift from oppressive and dreadful at the beginning to downright creepy towards the end, leading the reader through several different stages of suspense and horror before letting the conclusion come crashing down on us. I was up way too late many nights reading this book, breaking the promise to myself that “I’ll go to bed once I finish this chapter” multiple times because I kept caving to the temptation to peek at the next page, getting sucked into reading another chapter, and then rinse and repeat.A couple more comments before I go (though I doubt too many avid horror readers would be surprised by what I’m about to say): You’re probably not going to find any of the characters very likeable. Like many horror novel protagonists, I think both Mark and Steph were meant to be a little foolish, unstable and reprehensible—all by design. And like in most ghost/haunted house stories, there will also be some ambiguity, so don’t be surprised when the book ends without providing all the answers.All told, The Apartment is a creepy little tale combining traditional horror story-telling elements with the uncertainties and struggles of a recently-married couple who probably don’t know each other as well as they think they do—and some of the shocking revelations from their alternating POV chapters really serve to emphasize that. Despite the story being riddled by little inconsistencies, my overall pleasure at reading this book was unaffected. The Apartment was a very addictive read and I had a lot of fun with it.

  • Lisa
    2018-12-25 13:14

    Review from Tenacious Reader: for a fantastically creepy book to start off October? The Apartment by S. L. Grey may be just what you need. It is a haunting tale told through alternating perspectives from husband and wife, Marc and Steph. Both have been traumatized and then things start to get …. creepy.I’ve read Sarah Lotz’s The Three and Day Four and loved them both. This is the first time I’ve read one of the books she co-authors with Louis Greenberg under the pen name S. L. Grey. It definitely did not disappointed and makes me think twice about house swapping for vacation.Marc and Steph’s relationship is definitely in need of work. In addition to dealing with the house invasion, Marc also has a traumatic history involving his first family, before he met Steph. So, when the opportunity arises to “get away” and take the honeymoon they never had, they leave their young daughter behind and head to Paris hoping this will get them back in touch with each other, make everything good again.Unfortunately, once they get to Paris, they encounter one problem after another, and their romantic, relaxing time away starts to feel more like hell. The apartment is nothing as advertised, in a virtually abandoned building (the only resident being a woman living up stairs, who like as not, is a squatter. The relationship issues they had before arriving seem to be compounded rather than resolved. And amid it all, things get creepier and harder to explain.The alternating perspectives are interesting as this couple, at least at times, seems to be growing apart rather than closer. The different perspectives make you question if either narrator is fully reliable. From one perspective you may question the sanity of the other. From the other perspective, you may wonder what supernatural forces could be in play. It is a book where you question everything and trust just about nothing.My only slight criticism while reading this was in the beginning of the book, the amount of emphasis and reinforcement that was directly used to let the reader know how traumatized this couple was by a recent home invasion. It almost felt overly dramatic (I’m not trying to trivialize it, I just felt the level of emphasis actually dampened the level of drama, at least for me). It wasn’t major, but I wonder if a little more showing, a little less telling for that one tiny aspect of the book could have been effective without repeating reminders about their traumatic event. But it wasn’t something that deterred my enjoyment, so I would consider this a minor thing.I don’t know about Louis Greenberg (I have yet to read his solo work), but I am convinced Sarah Lotz doesn’t want her readers to be comfortable on vacation or holiday. First planes in The Three, then cruiseships in Day Four, now house swapping in The Apartment … all have new level of creepiness!The Apartment is fantastically haunting and shuddersome, making it a great choice of book to set the mood as we head in to the fall season, prime time for all things creepy, supernatural and haunting.

  • Eva • All Books Considered
    2019-01-15 09:26

    Review originally posted at All Books Considered: 1 STARI'm telling you right now - please don't read this. I had seen some other reviewer's opinions (that I trust) on this one before I read it that were less than stellar but I still wanted to give this its fair shot; I wish I hadn't. I almost DNF'd but I was intrigued enough to want to know the "twist" or mystery but now I can confidently tell you that this was not worth finishing. Maybe the story for this book seemed like it a good idea for a book at one point but either the author did not really want to finish the book or there was a critical lack of editing involved in the execution. There were so many sub-stories that were glossed over and made to seem important but ended up being red herrings to the actual plot. And I'm not talking just a few of these but four or five of these, maybe more. I also have severe issues with the "twist" - it didn't make any sense and it wasn't properly flushed out to even give a hint that anyone could suspend their disbelief. And the characters? First, they were supremely unlikable -- that, I could get over -- but they were also so not developed. You can't imagine why Mark and Steph are a couple now or why they ever were. There was also this weird focus on the problems with their relationship that added nothing to the plot, depth or story. This one did not work for me in any way.The Apartment came out earlier this month on October 4, 2016, and you can purchase HERE.I pull the plug and gather the toys and put them in the bucket at the corner of the tub. I pick out the soap and turn on the hand shower to rinse the tub. The water's draining slowly, blocked by Hayden's hair in a drain hole. I pick it out and it comes away in a satisfying mat; it shines with a blue gleam, full of life. I can't bring myself to throw it away so I squeeze the water out and take it with me.

  • Kayla Dawn
    2019-01-01 10:02

    Hm. Den Schreibstil mochte ich sehr gerne, lies sich flüssig lesen.. aber die Story war eher so semi gut. Horror war sehr wenig vorhanden und generell ist irgendwie wenig passiert. Die Grundidee mag ich, aber an der Umsetzung hats ein wenig gehadert.

  • Jackie
    2019-01-13 10:13

    Read this in one tight-chested, on-edge sitting. At night. Not the smartest thing I've ever done but damn it was a great ride.

  • Catherine
    2019-01-10 10:29

    This book was so bad I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry. Total waste of time. Zero cohesiveness and such a poorly thought-out mess. Unbelievably awful!

  • Cathie
    2018-12-23 13:26

    More of a paranormal thriller than a tour-de-force horror. Strong beginning...then shortly I can't help but question the actions of the characters. There are times you wonder what the heck is going on? This is partly due to the two interchanging POV. But nevertheless, you can feel the atmosphere of someone else's decrepit apartment, of a place you call home that no longer feels like that safe haven. Not to mention the realizations that stem from emails and phone calls.And I have to agree with other reviewers: that credit card company was THE worst!!!

  • Irene
    2019-01-16 06:22

    This story was a little slow to get going, and at first I thought I was going to be disappointed in it. I don't know when I've been so wrong. When the book begins. the home invasion has already occurred and Mark and Steph are living in the aftermath. They have somewhat grown apart in the marriage, partially due to the break in, and partially because Mark had already faced some traumatic events before the break in ever occurred. The story is told in alternating points of view, switching back and forth between Mark and Steph. They no longer feel comfortable in their own home and do not seem all that comfortable with each other, at least not enough to confide in. A friend suggests a getaway, but money is tight since Mark is the sole provider and Steph is a stay at home mom to their small daughter.When an opportunity presents itself to stay in Paris free via a house swap website it sounds like a dream come true. They head off with high hopes that this will be just what they need to reconnect with each other and to put the trauma of the past behind them. Those hopes are short lived. At this point the story picks up speed from a slow build to an avalanche of terror and suspense. From the minute they arrive there is a feeling that something is just plain wrong. The apartment is not at all what they expected and the building itself appears abandoned, except for a strange woman upstairs who has never heard of the people who supposedly live there, and who tells them this building is "not for living." Circumstances go from bad to worse and the creepiness factor rises exponentially. I have been reading adult horror since I was 11 years old and it takes a lot to scare me. S.L. Grey has succeeded in doing just that with The Apartment.I received an advance copy for review

  • KC
    2019-01-11 09:25

    I want to thank Edelweiss, Blumhouse Books, and SL Grey for the advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review. I had high hopes for this book. A nice breakaway from all the domestic thrillers and kidnapped kids, but unfortunately it fell short. The premise had great potential but I just didn't make a connection. I was excited to finally read some horror but it wasn't even a suspenseful paranormal story. Alas.

  • Daisy
    2019-01-06 05:08

    I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss for an honest review.I really enjoyed this book. It was creepy and a bit scary at times. It was a definite on the edge of your seat story. I wish the characters had been developed a little more. The ending left me feeling as though there should have been more.Overall it was a good book.

  • Marcia
    2019-01-01 11:27

    Een creepy verhaal over een koppel dat besluit een huizenruil aan te gaan als vakantie. Helaas niet zo goed en onverwacht als In de val van hetzelfde schrijversduo, maar zeker wel de moeite waard. Bij vlagen zo gruwelijk dat je er kippenvel van krijgt, maar toch voelt het net iets te onrealistisch, te paranormaal om écht bang te worden. Mijn complete recensie lees je op

  • Lauren Stoolfire
    2018-12-31 06:24

    Although this has been billed as horror, I definitely wouldn't say that it qualifies for that genre. It has very slow building suspense with a handful of eerie elements with a dash of mystery. I'm not sure why I finished the entire story as I couldn't get into the characters, and it never really delivered for me on the horror aspect as it was more of a yawn. However, I did enjoy Fiona Hardingham as one narrators - just before this I loved her performance on A Shadow Bright and Burning.

  • April
    2019-01-13 07:11

    This story started a little slow for me so I left it to start another, when I came back to it I was hooked and read till I finished. It wasn't exactly horror but more paranormal crazy. I wanted one more chapter from Mark (the male main character) explaining what he was thinking at the end. This book definitely left me with an unsettled feeling and I'm sure parts of it will enter my dreams at some point tonight lol if you can push through the slow start you will find an over all a good read.

  • Julia
    2019-01-18 06:16

    "The Apartment is a terrifying tour de force of horror, of psychological thrills, and of chilling suspense."It isn't.

  • Buzz
    2019-01-07 08:00

    To put it frankly, this book is neither worth your time nor your money (I did pay fifteen dollars, plus tax). Feel free to read on, but I cannot recommend this novel to anyone. The blurb on the back promises “… a claustrophobic and chilling portrait of a disintegrating marriage teetering on the edge of darkness. The Apartment is a terrifying tour de force of supernatural horror, psychological tension, and hunting suspense,” and delivers on none of these fronts. The novel follows the protagonists Mark and Steph, a wholly unsympathetic and unlikable couple who share the burden of moving the plot forward by trading places as the agent of narration each chapter. Mark is a forty-something literary professor whose inner narration sounds more akin to a young twenty-something. So much so, that I often forgot who was narrating as each character essentially sounds exactly the same, despite Steph being an actual twenty-something stay at home mother. A lot of emphasis is placed on the characters age disparity, but nothing ever comes of it. While we are on the topic of dialogue, the couple’s child Hayden’s dialogue is especially egregious. Children are often hard to write realistically, but I have never heard a child use such caveman-like speech and refer to itself in the third person in such a cringe-worthy way. I would go on, but there are virtually no other characters worth discussing (Carla is actually interesting, but isn’t given nearly enough time to be interesting or develop as a character). Although, it was particularly annoying that every French person they encountered either spoke immaculate English, or spoke like how French characters are often depicted on television, speaking pretty passable English but dropping in universally understood French words at the ends of their sentences, non? I have to pause here and stress just how unsympathetic and flat these characters are. The novel is pretty much devoid of secondary characters save for Carla, Mark’s old coworker and possible love interest, and Steph’s parents (who themselves are so flat you could use them to as a level when hanging shelving). So, while we as readers spend pages listening to the inner monologues of Mark and Steph, most of it is spent with them either restating their own neuroses about the other or drowning in their own guilt. This happens with such frequency that it’s hard to see why they ever wanted to marry in the first place, or why we should care about salvaging such a train wreck. Steph basically fluctuates from hating Mark and wanting to flee or feeling guilty that she isn’t willing to force him into psychotherapy. Mark is an especially rancid character as he essentially gets high off of his first wife’s chemotherapy pain medication, only for his daughter to kill herself by overdosing on the drugs he leaves out while he is in a stupor. Other characters constantly ask him to let go of his guilt, but as readers, we are never given a reason why he should. The actual impetus to go to the titular apartment via a house-swap website, is due to a home burglary that has shaken the family to their very core. Of course, this is perhaps the nicest burglars ever captured on paper. They do no harm to the family, the young daughter doesn’t even see the crime taking place, and the only real loss is a laundry list of Apple products that get stolen. Q’uel dommage! I sincerely wondered if the authors had ever actually been to Paris, or bothered to do any research. Much like Mark’s character development, Paris is merely a list of famous locations, with the protagonists spending most of their time at the local Parisian Starbucks using the Wi-Fi and eating stale croissants. I began to question why this significant portion of the book even had to take place in Paris? The protagonists see literally none of the sights, and merely traipse back and forth from their dingy apartment (I would say haunted, but that’s a stretch) and a Starbucks. I have to imagine that rather than doing any in-depth research on Parisian dining or museums, it was just easier to slide the entire setting by as nothing more than a backdrop. Like so many other horror novels, the characters must be given a reason to be stuck in the eldritch location. Much like the snow-storm or island murder mystery tropes, the authors scramble to come up with reason why Mark and Steph must keep returning to this apartment throughout their weeklong stay. Unfortunately, that reason simply hinges on them being terribly disorganized. They don’t preapprove any cards for travel, no traveler’s checks, and very little pocket money. It’s stressed just how poor this couple is too, that they cannot really afford the trip, and yet they chose Paris of all locations to travel to. At one point they even consider just buying more plane tickets through Steph’s parents, but poo-poo that idea because they don’t want to burden them. I guess they would rather stay in this “terrifying” apartment than just ask for help, or better yet, ask their well-to-do friend Carla for help, when she clearly has the money to do so. While much of the early novel can be forgiven as setup for the promised spookiness to come, the titular apartment itself doesn’t offer much in the way of horror. This seems to be the crux of the novel’s issues. The authors provide the reader with unsettling images, such as buckets of human hair in a closet or a seemingly abandoned apartment across the hall with decades old food rotting on a table, but does absolutely nothing with those images. An image itself can be disturbing or creepy, but the art of a horror novel is to do something with those images, otherwise it comes off as almost comical. The apartment is also a smattering of horror clichés and tropes. We have no less than: the creepy older woman who says cryptic things that don’t ever make sense (and her melodramatic suicide), lights that don’t work, but sometimes do, a creepy boiler room, a dead cat, a dingy apartment, sounds in the walls, an abandoned building, and the list just goes on. And of course, of all these weird little subplots, almost none of them have a bearing on the story or are ever resolved. At one point, Mark gets a splinter in his foot that is mentioned repeatedly, and nothing ever comes of it, not even an infection. And so many paragraphs are just like that splinter, completely innocuous. It’s as if the authors wanted to get from point A to B and then back to C to resolve the main plot, but somehow had to carry the book to 270 pages, so they simply filled the space with small, petty problems. Perhaps the most egregious issue with this novel’s plot is that something supernatural is going on, but we are never clued in that there is an actual threat to these characters. Zoe, Mark’s first child whose death caused the dissolution of his first marriage, has started to haunt him throughout the latter half of the novel. Ironically, it’s framed so that Zoe’s apparition could easily be mistaken as his own psychological break from reality. Plot twist, she’s actually a malevolent spirit and you would be completely forgiven for not seeing it coming. To make matter worse, Steph, who by the end of the novel is missing most of these plot points from her point of view, somehow puts it all together. Then, in a last minute roundup, the final five pages attempt to pull off a Ringu-like “pass the curse on to another family” ending. It’s as if the novel had hit the required page limit and the authors just decided to wrap it up. If I had to take a stab in the dark, I would guess this is another horror book churned out just in time for the 2016 Halloween season. The little marketing blurb on the front of the novel is from Lauren Beukes who is then unabashedly thanked in the acknowledgements section of the book, making me think this was just another publishing house needing to publish something to line the shelves and hope enough people will be taken in by a clever idea before they realize how poorly executed it really is. I cannot emphasize this enough, do not waste your energy on this title. Normally, I wouldn’t rail against a book like this, but I did pay for it firsthand and felt completely taken. Also, just a small tip, but if you’re going to write a book about taking care of a haunted, empty place in a foreign space that slowly drains the energy of the husband and drives him to madness, don’t allude to The Shining in your text. It’s just bad form.

  • Laura von Eden
    2019-01-13 07:16

    S.L. Grey ist ein Pseudonym, hinter dem die Bestsellerautoren Sarah Lotz und Louis Greenberg stecken. ‚Das Apartment‘ hat vom Klappentext her viel versprochen und auch das Cover fand ich durch den minimalistischen Stil sehr ansprechend.In diesem Buch geht es um Mark und Steph, denen wir in abwechselnden Kapiteln folgen können. Schnell wird klar, dass ihre Ehe nicht mehr ganz so rosig läuft. Die beiden haben ein Kind, doch Mark kümmert sich nicht genügend darum. Außerdem war die kleine Familie kürzlich Opfer eines Überfalls im eigenen Haus, was weiterhin wie eine dunkle Wolke über den beiden schwebt. Daher soll quasi als Tapetenwechsel eine kleine Reise den Haussegen wieder richten. Da das Geld eher knapp ist, entscheiden sie sich für einen sogenannten Häusertausch. Während Steph und Mark in einem hübschen Apartment in Paris weilen, wohnt die Pariser Familie in ihrem Haus in Südafrika.Das alles könnte ein traumhafter Tip werden, doch leider ist das Apartment gar nicht so traumhaft wie versprochen. Im Gegenteil – albtraumhaft trifft hier eher zu. Steph und Mark versuchen das beste daraus zu machen, doch die seltsamen Begebenheiten häufen sich…Bis hierhin klang alles so vielversprechend, doch leider ist die Story dann etwas versumpft und vor allem ganz anders gewesen als ich es mir vorgestellt habe. Es wurden immens viele Fragen eröffnet, die leider niemals beantwortet wurden. Ich habe mich am Ende des Buches total ratlos und etwas verloren gefühlt, da das Ende gefühlt so gar nichts mit der angeteaserten Story zu tun hatte.Auch würde ich das Buch nicht dem Thriller Genre zuordnen, denn abgesehen von einem etwas ’schlimmeren‘ Ereignis in der Pariser Wohnung, passiert nicht viel in Paris. Gerne hätte ich mir gewünscht, dass hier mehr auf die ganzen mysteriösen Elemente eingegangen worden wäre. Doch dies bleibt alles ungeklärt und die beiden Eheleute sind schnell wieder zurück in Südafrika, wo sich die Geschichte dann weiter schleppt bis zu einem Ende, das viele weitere Fragen aufwirft.Insgesamt weiß ich auch nicht so recht, wo ich dieses Buch einordnen würde, Mystery-Drama trifft es wohl noch am ehestens. Abgesehen von den vielen Fragezeichen, bin ich jedoch super durch das Buch gekommen. Der Schreibstil der Autoren regt auf jeden Fall zum Weiterlesen an, auch wenn es letztlich auf ein unbefriedigendes Ende zusteuerte. Für mich war die Story nicht das, was ich mir durch den Klappentext erhofft hatte.

  • Karen
    2019-01-09 11:05

    What a load of rubbish. I didn't buy this book - my husband did - and asked me to read it after him. An absolute pile of poop.

  • Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
    2019-01-01 10:13

    House Swaps & Home Invasions...The Apartment is about a couple- Mark & Steph, who live in South Africa, and have been struggling to recover and get their lives back on track after they were the victims of a home invasion. In an attempt to get away from their home which they don't feel comfortable in now, they sign up with a house swap agency and head to Paris. When they arrive, the house is not as advertised- it's a complete dump and abandoned with the exception of one eccentric old lady; and the couple who was suppose to stay in their house is a no-show...>>Minor spoilers from here on out<<First of all, I think this story started off all wrong. It presented a traumatized couple having major issues recovering from an "attack" but it doesn't give you any details "upfront" on this supposed attack so I couldn't empathize at all with what they were going through because I wasn't clued in. When the authors (Sarah Lotz & Louis Greenberg a.k.a. S.L. Grey) finally did explain the home invasion there was absolutely no suspense or horrific actions on the part of the intruders so I still didn't feel any empathy toward Mark & Steph- if anything I felt like their behavior was somewhat irrational bordering on nuts. Especially when in the midst of the invasion, Steph tells the intruders not to hurt their little girl- Hayden, so the intruders look in Hayden's room and see her sleeping so they shut the door so they don't wake her. Does that sound like an evil intruder set on harming someone to you? To me, it makes them come across as the least scariest bad guys ever which negates this couple's horrific experience even more. I think the story would have been better if it immediately opened with an intense and "realistic" home invasion -in progress, so we readers are cued in from the very beginning about what's causing this couples extreme fear and obsessive behavior.Mark & Steph's behavior then turns even more unbelievable when they get to this dump in Paris and don't see anything wrong with the situation so they just continue their stay in this awful apartment. Who does that??After that the story just goes even further downhill from there. The major problem being, that there were way too many threads opened up but none of them were fully fleshed out or tied together properly. To name a few...1) We have the most mediocre "home invasion" ever 2) along with the nicest "bad guys" I've ever seen 3) the elusive safe the intruders were looking for which we never heard anymore about 4) The crazy old lady living in the dump in Paris 5) which also turns out to be- the 'haunted' dump in Paris 6) the mysterious house-swap couple that we never learn anything about 7) Mark's deceased daughter, Zoe's, malevolent ghost 8) the unhinging of Mark 9) the hair aka lifeblood  in Paris & South Africa (don't even ask- lol). I could go on & on but you get my gist.The book is touted as a psychological horror story but I honestly got the feeling that the authors couldn't come to an agreement on what kind of story they wanted to write, so they just threw in a little of bit of everything and a lot of nothing! If you were planning to read this one, I would save yourself the time and find something else.*I received this ARC from Edelweiss & Blumhouse Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**I read this for my 2016 Halloween Bingo: ~Genre: Horror~ square

  • Sonja
    2018-12-23 10:08

    Mark und Stephanie wohnen in Südafrika und haben eine schwere Zeit hinter sich. In ihre Wohnung wurde eingebrochen, so dass beide sich zu Hause gerade nicht mehr wirklich wohlfühlen. Einen Urlaub können sie sich nicht leisten, obwohl ein Tapetenwechsel beiden guttun würde. Da kommt eine Freundin der beiden auf die Idee, sich einmal auf einer „Wohnungstausch“-Website umzusehen. Schneller als gedacht finden Mark und Stephanie tatsächlich ein Ehepaar aus Paris, das für eine Woche ihre Wohnung mit ihnen tauschen würde. Besonders Stephanie freut sich auf eine schöne und unbeschwerte Woche in Paris, doch kaum angekommen erleben die beiden eine herbe Enttäuschung. Die Wohnung entpuppt sich als „Dreckloch“ und es passieren immer mehr seltsame Dinge...Mein Leseeindruck:Dieses Buch hat mich ziemlich überrascht, denn ich hatte eigentlich mit einem „normalen“ Thriller gerechnet. Diese Geschichte ist aber anders als andere, denn sie bewegt sich für mich schon ein wenig in Richtung Horror bzw. Gruselroman. Davon sollte man sich aber nicht abschrecken lassen, denn die Handlung ist trotzdem sehr spannend und fesselnd und auch irgendwie nachvollziehbar, wenn man sich ein bisschen auf übersinnliche Phänomene einlassen kann. Erzählt wird die Geschichte abwechselnd aus Marks und aus Stephanies Sicht, was mir sehr gut gefallen hat. So kann der Leser Einblicke in beide Sichten erhalten und sich auch besser in beide Charaktere hineinfühlen. Der Schreibstil ist angenehm, die Handlung spannend. So hat sich das Buch recht schnell und flüssig lesen lassen. Ich hatte angenehm-gruselige Lesestunden mit dem Buch und werde auch gerne weitere Bücher des Autorenduos lesen.

  • Michael Jensen
    2019-01-15 13:26

    Meh. Nothing fresh, original, or very interesting here.