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Saturday 23 December 2017

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Krysten Ritter is an actress…I’ve only seen her once as Jesse’s rather unfortunate heroin-addict girlfriend in Breaking Bad. A memorable role. So…is she going to be a memorable author with this, her inaugural novel?

This is a story of environmental lawyer Abby Williams who returns to her home town, Barrens, after ten years to investigate a large company, suspected of poisoning the town’s water reservoir with their toxic waste. Not an easy task for her, as she’s returning to some bad memories. However, they not only resurface, she discovers a very unsettling secret making the investigation very complex indeed.

I’m not a great fan of the present tense, especially for dramatic novels…but it’s never a deal breaker in my choice of book. In this instance, however, it did confirm why I don’t like it. It just didn’t work, especially as this was also first-person POV. The run-up to the ending was tense and dramatic, but unfortunately, loose threads were hastily tied up in a clunky manner in the epilogue in a sort of ‘I later found out that this is what happened to me' way. It all fell rather flat. 

However…this is a debut novel, and I would be lying if I didn’t say it was well written, well observed and for the most part, pacey and dramatic. Despite my misgivings, this author can only get better and has a promising future.

I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for her next novel.

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