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Bonfire: A Novel Hardcover – November 7, 2017
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“The Jessica Jones star makes an auspicious literary debut with Bonfire, spinning a suspenseful, psychologically gripping story.”
“In this adroit debut the star of Marvel's Jessica Jones proves her talents aren't limited to acting... [Bonfire is] a thriller that delivers suspense, surprise and satisfaction.”
"I burned through Krysten Ritter's hugely accomplished debut. Bonfire is dark, disturbing, and compulsively readable."
—RUTH WARE, New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10
“Bonfire is a stone-cold stunner—the writing is dazzling, the suspense is creeping, and the story of a woman returning home to face her past is brimming with emotion and truth. An extraordinary debut from a major talent."
—BLAKE CROUCH, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter
"A vicious years-old small-town scandal makes the perfect backdrop for this gritty, moody mystery that will have readers ripping through the pages at top speed. Bonfire ushers in a bold new voice to the suspense genre. I can't wait to see what Ritter dreams up next."
—MARY KUBICA, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl
"Actress Ritter (Marvel's Jessica Jones) makes a triumphant fiction debut with this pulse-pounding thriller featuring a sympathetic, broken lead character... Pitch-perfect."
—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred)
“Ritter, lead actress on television’s Jessica Jones, is likely to attract readers with her name, but this strong, gritty debut is good enough to create its own fan following.”
“[Bonfire is] a fast-paced thriller that… introduces a tough female lead who’s easy to root for.”
About the Author
KRYSTEN RITTER is well-known for her starring roles in the award-winning Netflix original series Marvel’s Jessica Jones and cult favorite Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, as well as her pivotal role on AMC’s Breaking Bad. Ritter’s work on film includes Big Eyes, Listen Up Philip, Life Happens, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and She’s Out of My League. She is the founder of Silent Machine, a production company that aims to highlight complex female protagonists. Ritter and her dog, Mikey, split their time between New York and Los Angeles.
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Now she's returning as an environmental lawyer, summoned by claims that the local plastics plant has been dumping waste into the reservoir and groundwater. Confronting a past she thought she'd never have to face again, Abby finds a seeming connection between the current concerns and those of Kaycee a decade prior. Is it a red herring? An illusion? Or the start of a dark conspiracy spinning quickly out of control?
Krysten Ritter's BONFIRE isn't a great novel. It's a solid debut by an artist whose made a name for herself in other media, but it's hardly high literature. It has a few plot holes; the revelations seem a little forced at times; and the climax seems forced and taped together. That said, note the four stars. What propels BONFIRE is its protagonist: a strong, resourceful, complicated, vulnerable, flawed heroine (very reminiscent of a certain NYC superhero-turned-P.I.). Ritter's prose is by no means amateur, either; BONFIRE could, in fact, be the start of a nice literary side-career. At the end of the day, it's little more than popcorn entertainment, but it's the best kind of popcorn thriller: one with a truly intriguing protagonist, and a dark, messy heart. Dimestore pulp with bite, if you will. I'll take that.
Bonfire is a dark, suspenseful and at times a gritty read. All of this is thanks to the solid writing skills of Krysten Ritter. Bonfire introduces you to Abby Williams, an environmental lawyer living out of Chicago. Abby is sentenced back to her ghosted past in Indiana, to investigate an environment issue involving a corrupt corporation. For her novel, Ritter is able to capture such a dark and compelling ambience by demanding your attention as one reads on. Ritter is a natural at writing characters that are damaged and flawed.
Let me just say that the twists and turns in the story are many and readers will be easily drawn in. This makes Bonfire one of my favorite reads of 2017. Congratulations Krysten and let’s get started on that second book, eh?!
However, it was an entertaining read, and something I wouldn't tell a friend not to buy if asked. Thus three stars.
It really reads like a debut, which is what it is, but a debut that should have had a more honest editor send it back and say, "hey fix these things."
I'm a big Krysten Ritter fan. I hope she writes again, this time with a better editor telling her where she falls short.
As a lover of books and words, I sincerely hope that this is only the beginning of Krysten’s writing path. I can’t wait to see where else she goes.