Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bonfire” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.57  ·  Rating details ·  21,987 ratings  ·  2,916 reviews
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 cre
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Hutchinson
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bonfire, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Deidre Really good! I was skeptical too but it's a well-crafted story, fast-paced and character driven.…moreReally good! I was skeptical too but it's a well-crafted story, fast-paced and character driven.(less)
Migdalia There are a few sexual feelings being mentioned but not in great detail of the action just the emotions that go into wanting sex but then a nice trans…moreThere are a few sexual feelings being mentioned but not in great detail of the action just the emotions that go into wanting sex but then a nice transition. So there are no major details of it, just implied that it does happen but cuts off to the next day afterward. There are also a few F-bombs in the dialog and one violent scenario but nothing too graphic. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  21,987 ratings  ·  2,916 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Bonfire
Emily May
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
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've read countless versions of a woman escaping her
Larry H
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

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 of mean-girl minions, mistreated by her father, she
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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 a result of water contamination caused by Optima
Adam Silvera
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
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! ...more
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like thrillers with female leads
Impressive debut for Ritter! When you see a famous person crossing over into a medium they are not known for, you worry it could be cringe-worthy or a total disaster. But, she does a pretty good job jumping right into the middle of the mystery/thriller genre and does a lot better than some more famous books (I am looking at you The Girl on the Train).

Now, all that being said, if this was the 10th book from a well-established author, some might not be quite as impressed. There are a few clichéd t
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
**3.5-stars rounded up**

This is a debut novel for Krysten Ritter, well known as playing Jessica Jones in the Netflix original series of the same name.

I was dubious going in, I'll admit. The whole singers becoming actors, actors becoming writers thing...

However, with that being said, I was pleasantly surprised by how engaging this book was.

Bonfire follows environmental attorney, Abigail Williams, as she returns to her hometown to investigate its largest employer, Optimal Plastics.

After arrivin
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 Plastics, a corporation that singlehandedly saved Barr ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
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 corporation who is funding much of the small town she's fro ...more
Diane S ☔
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
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 have more substance than some other books in this
Carol (Bookaria)
This book exceeded my expectations!

I've known the author Krysten Ritter from her work in the TV series Breaking Bad and Jessica Jones. So when I learned she had written a book I felt a little skeptical at first, but I am glad I put those thoughts aside and jumped into this novel.

Abby Williams is an environmental lawyer that returns to her childhood town to investigate the area's most important company: Optimal Plastics. There have been claims in the past of wrong-doing by that business and Abby
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Traveling Sisters Group Review

We started off intrigued by this story but soon became weighted down with a little too much drama and the dirty not-so-little secrets to this story. We became mentally exhausted and annoyed from it all and we just wanted to close our books and find a nice grassy spot to have a nap. However, our main character Abby was quite loud in our heads with the wild and annoying ways that she spun us down to some murky and lonesome places along with her.

Even though this one
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
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: ...more
Bonfire by Krysten Ritter is a 2017 Crown Archetype publication.

A heavily atmospheric and absorbing crime story-

When environmental lawyer, Abby Williams returns to her hometown in Indiana to investigate illnesses which could be connected to the town’s life force and largest employer, Optimal Plastics, she immediately, regrets coming back.

She soon learns her estranged father is quite ill, and she is flooded with childhood memories of her best friend, a girl named Kaycee, who may or may not have
Tan Markovic
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reviews can be found at:

I was sooo excited when I found out Krysten Ritter was releasing a debut novel especially in one of my favourite genres. I am obsessed with her as Jessica Jones and loved the role she played in Breaking Bad.

Shit, I loved this book. Ritter created such a dark, eerie atmosphere throughout, the plot is very fast paced and the characters from her new and past life are introduced thick and fast. I’m sucker for this type of format ever since I read
Skyler Autumn
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: loath
2 Stars

The dialogue is cheesy and people speak in metaphors, there's way too many subplots, conclusions are fast and abrupt being pulled from thin air, the protagonist has a weird gifted memory that can remember every childhood conversation down to the smallest detail (what is she; magic?) and everyday basic interaction seems to leave our sloppy unlikable protagonist breathless, like really? You feel the air has been knocked out of you again!! I'm starting to think our leading lady feels too
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
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 thing.

On one level, this is an insight into small to
Diana | Book of Secrets
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 influence in Barrens, Indiana. Abby hasn't been home
Joce (squibblesreads)
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 in high school and toxic masculinity. I wasn’t 100 ...more
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
Your problem, Abby, isn't that you can't draw. It's that you can't see.

I was a bit hesitant when I first head about this book: a celebrity writing a suspense thriller? What could possibly go wrong?
Well, let me tell you: so many damn things.

But, but,

Bonfire , surprisingly, was actually good. Wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either. We have the recycled trope of the main character, who is an environmentalist lawyer, going back to her hometown and diving deep in the secrets of the past while
Abby, a small town girl who left for the big city after high school, returns 10 years later as an environmental lawyer to investigate a plastics company suspected of polluting the town's waters. While there, Abby must face demons from her past: an estranged father, mean girls, bullying, and the long-ago disappearance of a friend turned mean-girl.

The evil corporation story line failed to keep my interest and I had to force myself to not skim.  The teen 'mean girls' story line is a particular disl
☆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 lawyer who works with chemicals and the environment based in Chic

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 to say that it sucked me in so quickly, I had a
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
It appears that I am in the minority having not heard of Krysten Ritter before encountering this book. This may have something to do with the fact that she is American and I am British and she features on American shows that I haven't watched before. I don't mind this as this usually bodes well and means I don't have any expectations that others who know of her may have. It puts it on the same footing as the other books I choose to read - I will read anything that appeals to me regardless of whe ...more
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 say it's Gillian Flynn meets Erin Brockovich.

I cou
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it
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 go home gameplan and approach. and she handled mu
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: character-driven mystery fans
I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this book, which should tell you everything you need to know.

This isn’t the sort of book I would have ever picked up of my own accord. I had never read a thriller before this one and didn’t expect to be a fan of the genre. Luckily, my mom gave this to me, and to my surprise, I was hooked from the first chapter. My mom has impeccable taste.

Bonfire stars Abby Williams, an environmental lawyer in Chicago who hails from the small town of Barrens, Indiana. Ab
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)
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 a hole inside me. A hole that can’t be patched or filled with files or paperw
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
3 stars

Can 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 best friend Kaycee Williams. Kaycee had disappear
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bonfire 1 8 Mar 18, 2019 09:08AM  
Shannon's TBR Boo...: September - Bonfire 1 5 Aug 31, 2018 07:42AM  
2021 ONTD Reading...: Discussion Post - Bonfire (Krysten Ritter) 11 89 Dec 01, 2017 07:10AM  
Book of The Month: (NOV)Bonfire Discussion/Reviews 2 28 Nov 13, 2017 04:23AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Betrayal of Faith (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller #1)
  • The Elephant Tree
  • The Zombie Room
  • Eye for Eye (Talion #1)
  • The Drowned World
  • Median Gray
  • Den lilla blomsterhandeln vid havet
  • Final Girls
  • Haunted
  • In Our Bones
  • The Room
  • Emma in the Night
  • Necessary People
  • Napalm (Lisa Engström, #3)
  • Dead Letters
  • Som en fjäder i vinden
  • Lock Every Door
  • Two Girls Down (Alice Vega, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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. Krysten’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 ...more

Articles featuring this book

You're almost there. Your Reading Challenge goal is just within reach and we're cheering for you right from the sidelines. Because...
152 likes · 53 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Some of us are out of place even when we are home.” 25 likes
“The problem is that people think in black and white. They think they can have the good without the bad. But everything that's good for one person is probably bad for someone else. Life isn't like the Bible says it is. It isn't a choice between good and evil. It's about choosing which evils you can stand.” 23 likes
More quotes…