Bonfire by Krysten Ritter


Should you ever go back?It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town'...

Details Bonfire

Release DateNov 7th, 2017
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

Reviews Bonfire

  • Emily May
    Going into this book, I had no idea who Krysten Ritter was. It was only when I went to the Goodreads page just now that I realized she's an actress. So I had approached this as I would any hyped thriller with an enticingly fiery cover. Unfortunately, though, I found Bonfire to have a recycled plot that lacked a certain juicy nastiness I like in my thrillers.And isn't this a story we've seen a thousand times? Maybe it's just me, but I feel like I'...
  • Larry H
    Krysten Ritter rocks. Not only is she a total badass on Jessica Jones, and she rocked my world (and made me laugh out loud constantly) on her old television series Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23 (still bitter it was canceled), but now her debut novel, Bonfire, is a really good read. I hate overachievers...Abby Williams couldn't get out of her Indiana hometown, Barrens, fast enough. Tormented by her childhood best friend Kaycee and her band ...
  • Meredith
    Solid 3.5 stars Bonfire is an addictive mystery about corporate greed and small town scandals. After 10 years of living in anonymity in Chicago, environmental lawyer Abby Williams returns to her tiny hometown Barrens, Indiana to investigate Optimal Plastics, a corporation that not only fuels the town’s economy, but also saturates Barrens with its philanthropic efforts. Residents of Barrens are getting sick, and Abby believes their illnesses are...
  • Adam Silvera
    Yes, Krysten Ritter is the star of Netflix's JESSICA JONES, but this thriller is damn good independent of its celebrity author. It's addicting and gritty and fast-paced. Hope you get obsessed too!
  • Paromjit
    This is an atmosphere drenched and compelling crime debut from Krysten Ritter set in Barrens, a small town in Indiana. As children, Abby Williams and Kaycee Mitchell were best friends, only for Kaycee to turn on Abby with her coterie of friends at school. Hating her father and her miserable life, Abby is the one that got away. She lives in Chicago and is a environmental lawyer, returning to Barrens after a decade away, to investigate Optimal Plas...
  • Maxwell
    This was a really strong debut and one of the better mystery/thrillers I've read in a while. Of course it had it's issues, though they were small and mostly due to editing in my opinion (the infamous "I released a breath I didn't realize I was holding" was used 3 times in the first half of the book...). Otherwise I found the characters to be strong, especially Abby our MC who is returning home to confront her past and a possibly corrupt corporati...
  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 Back home to Indiana, is the last place Abby wants to go, a place where she was bullied daily. Now an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she is a confident, more centered person. When a case in her old hometown sends her and her team back to investigate a company that seems to have the town in it's pockets, she is sure she can handle it. But can she?Two different ratings for each half of the book. Very encouraging start, well written, seemed to...
  • Katie
    Such a fun debut novel! This premise of "the girl returning to her disturbing home town" has been done before, but I still found this incredibly unique. Review is up on my channel! Video review:
  • Joce (squibblesreads)
    3.75 stars: I was pleasantly surprised by this! Thrillers can too often present overused tropes and plot turns based on convenience, not to mention sensationalizing mental illness and misogyny but thankfully there was none of that here (of course, there should be no bonus/gratuitous lauding or applauding things for not being misogynistic) . I enjoyed the focus on environment and law while also exploring the complicated relationships one can have ...
  • Simon
    What a brilliant thriller. I devoured this in two sittings. I was slightly dubious/cynical about a celebrity writing a book, well shame on me as this had me hooked. It’s a mix of Erin Brockovich, meets Mean Girls meets dark twisty mystery which enthralled me throughout as lawyer Abigail goes back to home after a decade to take on a huge corporation possibly poisoning her hometown where some demons from the past lie in wait too. Utterly gripping...
  • Book of Secrets ☘
    4.25 Stars → I was impressed with Krysten Ritter's debut novel. I'm kind of out of touch with TV & movies, so I didn't realize the author was an actor until finishing. I quickly grabbed this title when I saw it was suspense and didn't pay much attention to the blurb. Anyway, I enjoyed it. Abby Williams is an environmental lawyer who's returned to her tiny hometown to investigate possible contamination by a plastics company with a whole lot of i...
  • Dannii Elle
    Probably one of the best celebrity-penned novels I have read. I wasn't sure what to expect, from just the synopsis, which suggested mystery thriller, political, and possibly also science fiction elements. And this feeling, of being on unsure footing with this book, continued to dog my entire reading of it. In the best possible way, this is a novel that has so many layers to it that it became impossible to categorise it as solely ever about one th...
  • Mandy
    This is the story of Abby, who grew up in a town called Barrens, but ten years have gond by since she last was there. She returns to her home town as part of a small investigative team looking into a company called Optimal, which is the company that has made big investments into the community and is suspected of polluting the town's water supply.The whole book is told from Abby's point of view, so the reader is in Abby's head the whole time. She ...
  • Portia Lynn (itsportiasbooks)
    GUYS. KRYSTEN RITTER WROTE A BOOK. Memories are like fire, and need only a little oxygen to grow. I have been a huge fan of hers since Veronica Mars days. I will watch anything she is in. So when I found out she was crossing into my favorite world, the book world, I was SO FREAKING EXCITED. I rushed to see if it was available on Netgalley. Then worried I wouldn't get approved. BUT THEN I DID. So of course I started it immediately. Im so excited ...
  • ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
    I want to thank NetGalley and Crown Publishing for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate this opportunity.I also want to give a shout out to Trang from Bookidote! Trang and I buddy read this book starting at the halfway mark. 😂 She offered great insight! Trang is an awesome blogger and new friend! She is so sweet and funny! Check her blog out and show her some love!😉❤🤗Synopsis: Abby Williams is a law...
  • Paul
    thank you to netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book to review.i requested this from Netgalley mainly from curiousity as i am a fan of Krysten Ritter's acting so wondered if she could also write.turns out she can, i was pleasantly surprised at how well this novel was written. it is a multilayered story with recurring themes of family, bullying, enviromental concerns and memory. in other words for her debut Ritter went with a go big or...
  • Cristina•●♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ♥●•
    When ... Marvel heroes, books, and real life mix; readers get a dazzling result!! 😍📚“It’s as if the rules to the past have been rewritten, and I’m still learning the game.”- Abby Williams* * * “They’re all twisting my memories, making me doubt things I always counted on as true.”- Abby Williams* * * “There are the people of the world who squeeze and the ones who suffocate.” - Abby Williams* * * “I know now that there’s...
  • Blair
    I would say this is the best novel by an actor I've ever read, but I'm not actually sure I've ever read any other novels by actors. Either way, this is good stuff, not just some indulgent vanity project. Ritter's debut is a pacy legal thriller which has Abby Williams, a young lawyer, returning home to Barrens, Indiana, where she's plagued by memories of a long-lost friend and finds a powerful corporation covering up evidence of corruption. Let's ...
  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    Find my full review on, including my experience meeting her at a book signing event! "There's evil in this world, Abby. You remember that. You look for it. You look so it can't look for you."What can't Krysten Ritter do? We certainly know her from her pivotal role in Breaking Bad and as the whiskey drinking, leather jacket wearing, bad ass from Jessica Jones. She also does much more than that and one more thing she's a...
  • Marialyce
    3 starsCan we go home again, or maybe the question should be should we go home again? Abby Williams does just that, she goes home, but returns as an environmental lawyer digging into a possible case against a corporate giant company Optimal Plastics. She has been gone for ten years but remembers all the horrible things that had happened to her while growing up Barrens Indiana. She remembers the cruelty of her fellow students especially her former...
  • Hollis
    Being a lawyer is a little like being a doctor in reverse : you look for the damage and try to grow it, try to push in, dig a little deeper, open up the festering places.BONFIRE was pretty close to being a hit for me. Unfortunately there were a few little issues that kept cropping up which kept this from getting a rounded-up rating from me.In a small town where everyone knows everyone, it takes real skill to look the other way.I might have clicke...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    This is very readable but I felt some things were set up and not fully taken advantage of except for how they advanced the central mystery of what happened to Kaycee. I do like the idea of Erin Brokovich confronting the fallout of childhood bullying, and would read the next book by this author. A few more questions in the spoiler tag:(view spoiler)[1. The narrator has a deep connection to some of the main characters but often feels too much like ...
  • Liz Barnsley
    I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed this intense and atmospheric tale from Krysten Ritter - whilst it is far from being the first "Girl escapes small town only later having to return and face her demons" tale I have read, it is definitely one of the ones of superior quality and storytelling - Abby as a character immediately engaged me and the well layered, twisted yet authentic plot just sealed the deal.Big corporation v socially engaged lawyer is an...
  • Janel
    *Thanks for the free book, @CrownPublishing; it’s my pleasure to be a part of your monthly book send programme and provide honest reviews for the titles chosen*It’s no secret I love a small-town mystery, so I jumped at the opportunity to read Bonfire. I had no idea the author of this novel, was an actress, well-known for her role in the Netflix series Marvel’s Jessica Jones and cult favourite Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 – what...
  • debra
    My problems with this novel are perfectly explained by Diane S in her review. It was almost like the author thought of portraying Abby in two different ways, and then choose half of each-one Abby for the first part and the other Abby for the second. I found it as "jarring and unrealistic" as Diane S. did.
  • Diana
    More than the plot itself I have loved the revisiting of all traumas, the direct results and afterwards of bullying, anxiety and coping mechanisms that for me make this book a brilliant masterpiece.
  • Imi
    Not great. Easy and quick to read, but honestly it felt flat right from the start. The plot is formulaic to the point that I saw the ending coming from a mile off along with all the expected "twists". I can deal with a straightforward mystery plot, however, if the characters are good. Unfortunately, all the characters, and the protagonist in particular, felt designed to move the plot forward. The worst part were the protagonist's two possible lov...
  • Noha Badawi
    Around the 3.50 stars.This book is worth the read; it speaks volumes on teenage girls and how they bully, destroy one another during school instead of empowering each other.Thank you Penguin UK books for my advance reader copy Bonfire is the story of Abby Williams who left her home years ago to escape the small town life and all she's been through during high school. Working as an environmental lawyer, she's to go back to her town for a case. One...
  • Karen
    BONFIRE Written by Krysten RitterI am in the minority having never heard of Krysten Ritter before reading this suspense filled debut novel called "BONFIRE." I think her writing style is one that flows naturally, peppered with metaphors and similes. I found her storytelling skills quite captivating and I enjoyed this mystery especially towards reaching the conclusion. As I reached near the end of the book, I found myself not wanting to say goodbye...