bonfire, a review

Bonfire By Krysten Ritter

“The Jessica Jones star makes an auspicious literary debut with Bonfire, spinning a suspenseful, psychologically gripping story.”

Some of the reviews I read about Krysten Ritter’s debut novel, Bonfire, compared the protagonist to Veronica Mars, which instantly had me intrigued. Bonfire definitely has mysterious and noir elements, but also felt like a standalone, slow-burning thriller.

Environmental lawyer Abby Williams left her hometown of Barrens, Indiana and is working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago. She was happy to never go back, having left drama and pain behind her. When a new case takes her back home, the successful life and profile Abby painstakingly created begins to falter.

Abby is tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town’s most high-profile company, and begins to find strange connections to a scandal from more than a decade ago, a scandal that she remembers well, despite her best efforts. The scandal involved her closest friends at the time, and her best friend disappeared. There are secrets lurking around every corner, and no one is forthcoming with the truth of what really happened.

Haunting memories begin to bubble to the surface; Abby begins to doubt her own observations, becomes obsessed with finding her old best friend. She  unearths a secret ritual between the small townees called “The Game” and that’s when the story gets truly frightening; The Game threatens the reputations and lives of everyone involved in the scandal from a decade ago–including her own.

I enjoyed Bonfire by Krysten Ritter, however, it wasn’t a thrilling page-turner for me until the last third of the story.  I would give another novel of hers a go, if she decides to release more, but I have read far more compelling mysteries this past year that I would recommend before this one.

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