Book Review: Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Krysten Ritter is largely known for playing Jessica Jones and starring in Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. She did have a brief role in Breaking Bad, too. Now she’s taking her talents to the book world. Her debut novel, Bonfire, is out on November 7th. As I was browsing around NetGalley and saw this book, I knew right away that I had to read it.

Bonfire takes you to the small town of Barrens, Indiana. The book’s protagonist, Abby Williams, returns to her hometown with a new perspective on not only her life, but that of the people in Barrens. She’s been an outsider for quite some time and it lets her piece together what ends up being a suspenseful mystery.

What Ritter does well is she takes her time with the story. The book isn’t long by any means. In fact, it feels like just the right length (it comes in just under 300 pages). She could have crammed a much more dense mystery in those pages, but she chooses instead to give you pieces here and there. Abby Williams is an environmental lawyer, so you would think things wouldn’t be too thrilling for her, right? Well, her return to Barrens proves otherwise.

Tying the present day story into Abby’s past is a delight. It’s the perfect opportunity to give background on the characters without making it feel forced. Without giving anything away, let me just tell you that this story won’t go where you expect it to. Whenever it felt like things were all figured out, another twist came up and changed everything.

Typically, I find myself reading a lot more non-fiction than fiction these days. So to get this book and thoroughly enjoy it is a huge plus. Fiction is so much fun when it works well and this book was a fun one to dive into. Plus, it was so engrossing that I finished it in two days. If you’re looking for a good suspense novel to check out this fall, go grab yourself a copy of Bonfire. It’s well worth the time.