Wednesday 21 October 2020

Book Review: Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter book cover

AD* | 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's most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends - just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret - a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

Bonfire is a slow-burner, a mystery novel with heaps of suspense and all the hallmarks of a thriller without the usual breakneck pace. The story focuses on Abby, a young woman returning to her childhood town for the first time in years. 

Barrens is the perfect small-town setting for this novel, and its residents are just as curious as the town itself. While Abby has gone away, grown up, and carved out a life for herself away from Barrens, the town seems to have got stuck in a rut, with little progress beyond ever-increasing reliance on the shady Optimal Plastics business. This makes the perfect premise for a novel, and the story certainly does not disappoint. 

As Bonfire advances, the story digs deeper and deeper into Abby's past - driven partly by the investigation, and partly by her own desire to finally overcome her own issues with Barrens. It's a thrilling and exciting story, yet is told in a slow, suspenseful way. The senses heighten with each page, drawing you even deeper into the story.

The pace picks up as the story draws towards its conclusion, matching Abby's increasingly desperate attempts to uncover Barrens' secrets. It's full of twists and turns that you won't see coming, plus more than its fair share of excitement at the end! 

Bonfire is a captivating story of one woman's quest to overcome her childhood ghosts and finally uncover the mysteries of one small, American town.

Rating: 4 stars

Bonfire is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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