Bonfire

 

Rating: 
Author: Krysten Ritter
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Read: Nov. 2017

 

You guys, this was my 100th book of 2017!!! Feeling so accomplished!!

I LOVE Krysten Ritter. I’m obsessed with her role as Jessica Jones and think the show/Krysten is just the most badass superhero ever! And her instagram account makes me love her even more. She likes to knit and read mystery novels and hang out with her dog Mikey. So I was pretty excited when I saw she was writing a novel (a legit novel too, not just another celebrity autobiography)!

Bonfire didn’t like blow me out of the water or anything, but I thought it was a pretty solid debut. The writing was pretty average, but I thought the story was interesting. Bonfire is about lawyer Abby Williams who left her hometown of Barrens at 18 after some pretty strange events took place and has been running from it ever since.

She returns to Barrens as an environmental lawyer to investigate claims that Optimal, a chemical plant that provides most of the jobs in the community, has been poisoning the water supply and that people have been starting to get sick. She hated Barrens as a teenager and is plagued by memories of her friend Kaycee, who made up a story in their senior year about being sick to exploit Optimal and then disappeared. But now that other people are starting to get sick, Abby wonders if maybe Kaycee was actually telling the truth and can’t ditch the feeling that there’s something she’s missing.

I really liked the whole environmental law angle of the book and that this wasn’t just a who-dunnit murder mystery. The plot was a bit messy in some places though. Even after finishing the book, parts of the story were unclear to me and I found the ending pretty abrupt. I pictured Abby as Jessica Jones several times and I think Ritter was trying to write a gritty kind of lawyer-gone-detective character that I couldn’t quite get into. There were a few subplots that I didn’t really see the point of and some loose ends in the plot that I didn’t like.

Overall I did like this and I’m totally impressed with Ritter for writing it. There’s nothing particularly special about it, but I would definitely read another book if she ever decides to write one!

The Last Place You Look

Rating: 
Author: Kristen Lepionka
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Read: July 2017

 

This was a pretty dark read, but The Last Place You Look had everything I look for in a good mystery novel. It had suspense, a compelling plot, and a great detective/PI. There were a lot of layers to this story, which kept it engaging throughout the entire novel. Once I got into it, I could not put this book down!

It’s a pretty straight forward detective novel. Private Investigator Roxane Weary is hired to look into the disappearance of teenager Sarah Cook, whose parents were murdered 15 years prior. Sarah hasn’t been seen since the night of her parents murder and her boyfriend Brad was convicted of the crimes and has been sitting on death row ever since. However, Brad’s sister is convinced of his innocence and hires Roxane when she sees a woman she believes to be Sarah Cook pumping gas at the local station. Roxane tries to track the woman down to see if there might be more to the story.

I really like a mystery where I’m just as invested in the personal life of the PI and I really liked Roxane Weary. She was facing her own struggles and made some questionable decisions, but not unbelievable ones. Roxane was smart, as was Lepionka’s writing. She did some great things with this novel and I thought it had some great social commentary on how women are ignored, belittled, and dismissed by law enforcement. The Belmont police frustrated me so much in this book and I have to give an author props when they can make me empathize with a character as much as I did with Roxane. It infuriated me the way the police kept dismissing missing women as runaways with mental health issues, although it sadly didn’t surprise me.

I’m excited to see this listed as “Roxane Weary #1”, I’d definitely be interested to continue this as a series!