Bonfire

Krysten Ritter. Crown Archetype, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5247-5984-1
Actress Ritter (Marvel’s Jessica Jones) makes a triumphant fiction debut with this pulse-pounding thriller featuring a sympathetic, broken lead character. Ten years after leaving her hometown of Barrens, Ind., Chicago attorney Abby Williams returns as part of a legal team considering civil litigation against Optimal Plastics, a corporation whose chemicals may have caused illness and damaged crops. The professional challenge is daunting: Optimal has bought off much of the town, including a prosecutor who began a case against the company, until it swelled his campaign coffers for political office. Abby finds links to a case from more than a decade earlier, the disappearance of popular Kaycee Mitchell. On the personal side, Abby is unable to escape the grip of the past: a claque of mean girls relentlessly bullied her during high school, and her one surviving relative is her abusive father, who’s declining mentally and physically. Abby’s noirish worldview (she divides humanity into “the people of the world who squeeze and the ones who suffocate”) is pitch-perfect, and Ritter effectively uses Abby’s present-tense narration to create immediacy. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2017
Release date: 11/07/2017
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5247-7896-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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