Bonfire by Krysten Ritter//Book Review

Bonfire is the debut novel by well-known actress, singer, producer, former model and now writer Krysten Ritter. Ritter is most known for her role as Jessica Jones in the Netflix original Marvel superhero show of the same name and The Defenders. Bonfire is categorized as a Mystery and Psychological thriller and was recently released on November 7th, 2017.


“Can you ever outrun your past?

From actress, producer, and writer Krysten Ritter, a gripping, tightly wound suspense novel about a woman forced to confront her past in the wake of small-town corruption

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’s 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 she tries desperately to find out what really happened to Kaycee, troubling memories begin to resurface and she begins to doubt her own observations. And when she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game”—it will threaten reputations, and lives, in the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote rural town of just five claustrophobic square miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of what happens when your past and present collide.”

I am a fan of Krysten Ritter’s acting. I first started loving her as Chloe in the ABC show Don’t Trust the B—-in Apt. 23 and then as Jessica Jones but realized she had been sprinkled into many other movies and shows I had watched and started to take more notice in her career. When I heard she had written a book, I instantly added it to my TBR. When I saw Book of the Month club would have her book in their November box, I finally took the leap and subscribed taking two things off my wishlist!

I don’t normally read books in the Mystery or Thriller genre so I won’t critique the book based on how well it performs amongst other books of the genre. Like most of my reviews will be, this is simply a personal review of the book.

The book touched on topics of small town life, corporate corruption, sexual assault, abuse, alcoholism, and environmental law. For me, the book started slow and then quickly drew me into the small town of Barren’s past and present secrets. The book is based on realism, the characters and the setting heavily recognizable as small town America.  Ritter subtly drops pieces of the puzzle throughout the book so you could try and solve the mystery right alongside her character Abby. And just like Abby, even if you think you have all the answers you will still be surprised at the ending. I think for lovers of dark mystery books it would seem a little light. It is definitely more mystery than it is thriller. Abby isn’t a detective but takes on the role of one for her job in the book so I would consider it more of a detective mystery book than murder mystery or psychological thriller. Perhaps Ritter was influenced by her role as a detective in Jessica Jones or maybe her interest in the genre is what made the role so appealing to her. Either way, she did a great job with this book. Personally, I assumed all mystery books would be too scary for me but I wasn’t strongly aware of detective mysteries before this. I am a fan of “Whodunits” which is what I think this book is in the realm of and it has gotten me more interested in exploring the mystery genre. So for that I am grateful.

I received this book from my November Book of the Month club box. Ritter had previously been a guest panel judge for the box and her book was chosen as one of the 5 choices for November. I signed up for the book primarily because her book was on it and I had been interested in trying it so it seemed like hitting 2 birds with one stone! I bought the box.

I am glad to add this book to my collection and hope she continues writing in the future. Be on the lookout for Bonfire and any future books she may write!

Where to buy Bonfire: AmazonB&NGoogleApple

Did you read Bonfire? What are your thoughts on the book? Any suggestions for similar mysteries for me/ Let me know in the comments!

And thank you for reading!

*All my reviews are my own and unsponsored*


  1. […] Bonfire is a mystery/detective novel written by the actress who plays Jessica Jones! The main character also drinks a lot, avoids her past and is rough around the edges. She reminds me of Jessica just human and less of an asshole. I could honestly imagine Krysten Ritter playing this character as well to perfection! You can read my review of Bonfire HERE! […]


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