THE GIRL AT THE BAR,
BY NICHOLAS NASH
PUBLICATION: FIREFLIES PUBLISHING, LLC; 1 EDITION (FEBRUARY 1, 2017)
Synopsis: Rebecca, a brilliant cancer researcher, disappears after a one-night stand with a neurotic man with a questionable past.
Her sudden disappearance in the midst of a high-stakes quest to cure cancer between two rival billionaires sets into motion an inexplicable chain of events as the bodies start to pile up.
No one knows why she disappeared. The race to find answers ensnares everyone around her, one of whom is a deeply disturbed psychopath lurking in the shadows.
Is Rebecca still alive? What happened to her? Who did it? And why? Questions about her vex everyone looking for answers. No one can be trusted and no one is above suspicion…
For my suspense/thriller fans out there, let me tell you about The Girl at the Bar by Nicholas Nash! An out of work trader named Ragnar sees and meets the beautiful Rebecca in a hotel bar. Their chemistry is instant and after talking about everything, including her role as a cancer researcher, Rebecca decides not to fight the desire between them and goes home with Ragnar. When Ragnar wakes up the next morning, he finds that Rebecca is gone and he is kicking himself because they didn’t exchange numbers. However, it’s not long until the police show up at his door inquiring about his relationship with Rebecca and he learns that she has been reported missing. Soon there are several people involved other than the police that looking into her disappearance and/or considered suspects including rival pharmaceutical CEO’s and fellow researchers, Rebecca’s ex-fiance, an ex-cop and an ex-boyfriend and fellow researcher. After initial questioning, Ragnar can’t get his mind off of Rebecca and her disappearance. He questions himself, wondering if he did something and blacked out, but also starts doing his own research and finding his own leads into her disappearance. Lines are blurred and several paths cross one another as everyone tries to figure out where Rebecca is, if she is still alive and most importantly, who is behind her disappearance.
I loved this novel in that it wonderfully represents a “whodunnit” mystery. There are so many players involved and so many sub-plots related to each person that at times, it almost makes your head spin. Poor Ragnar was fired after an on-going cover-up trading job cost people millions of dollars. He now lives alone, unable to find work and has few friends or even acquaintances. Although he keeps having these fabulous “aha moments” where he is able to gain some leads on Rebecca’s disappearance, he also ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time frequently throughout the novel. An old co-worker of Ragnar’s named Eddie is very active in the story with his expert IT skills for research and putting together the pieces of the puzzle as Ragnar gives them to him. His character is brilliant and adds a lot to the overall plot. The rival pharmaceutical CEO’s Julia and Matheus both claim to want to help find Rebecca, especially Julia that likens Rebecca as a child to her. Julia has Rebecca on her side and with Atticus Pharmaceuticals, but Matheus has always wanted Rebecca to join Faust Pharmaceuticals, along with Rebecca’s ex-boyfriend and researcher, Gustav. Other researchers Nancy and Christy are also relevant, especially Nancy, who has always been jealous of Julia and Rebecca’s close friendship. Then there is also the famous researcher Dr. Gupta, who was basically left behind by Rebecca and her breakthroughs and blames her for stealing his early research in finding the cure for cancer. Basically – there are a lot of people connected to Rebecca, the cancer research, and each other – all of whom could be responsible for her missing or become the next target.
The kidnapper makes several appearances in the novel prior to being revealed, but those moments refer to “the void,” as a void that needs to be filled but it’s referred to as a living thing. There are some weird, freaky things that go on in the void’s “head,” but it all just adds to the suspense and mystery as you read and try to figure out who are good guys, who are bad guys, and who has stabbed who in the back along the way. I must admit that I did not have any idea who the void was and was shocked once it was revealed. I love a mystery that keeps me guessing and re-guessing the entire time, and this is definitely one of those novels! The novel was very fast-paced and held my attention, although at times I felt bogged down by some of the cancer research lingo and back stories, but after finishing the novel and reflecting back on it, I feel like it mostly added to the plot and suspense. I also loved that this was told from several points of view. Almost everyone that is relevant in the story speaks from their point of view at some point or the other, giving the reader a thorough glimpse of what’s going on in their head, while still wondering if they are the bad guy.
Was this the best mystery/suspense thriller I’ve ever read? No. But, it was damned good and pulled me in from the start. I highly, highly recommend The Girl at the Bar if you enjoy this genre. It’s a crazy, wild ride but is very entertaining and will keep you guessing until the end!
*Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase The Girl at the Bar on Amazon.
Learn more about Nicholas Nash by visiting his web page.