In my quest to completely catch up on my Book of the Month TBR pile, I finally read Bonfire by Krysten Ritter, which was a November 2017 pick. The book definitely interested me when I picked it, but for someone reason I just now picked it up. It’s part legal thriller, part corruption case, part typical drunk-woman-dealing-with-issues-mystery, and I loved it. I read it in one foul swoop.

Abigail Williams (I can’t tell if it’s a Crucible shoutout or not) returns to her hometown of Barrens as a lawyer for an environmental advocacy agency, set to determine if the town’s “savior” company, Optimal, is actually dumping waste in the water and corrupting the town. What she finds it…certainly something.  With flashbacks to Abby’s high school, when girls got “sick” and the Game was rampant, she can’t help but see the connections to the town in the modern day. Some people never leave, some never change, and some are worse than you ever imagined. How far is Optimal’s reach? Are they just polluting the water,or is something more sinister going on?

This book is really interesting. It has great layers of legal intrigue and mystery and scandal and Abby’s own personal life, but I’m a little tired of the “wine drunk/messy drunk” trope of women in these kinds books. I get it, life sucks sometimes, but does it really require a stiff drink to get you to do these things? Why can’t you make some revelations while sober for once? Anyway, not a big deal, just something I’m thinking about. Abby’s relationship with her Dad is complicated and an interesting backdrop to the book. Her romantic relationships are also interesting and I wish there was a little more of one, but beggars can’t be choosers. Overall, I’m really impressed with this book, especially since it was written by a celebrity, and I’ll likely pick up the next book if I find out Ritter is writing again.


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