The Girl at the Bar by Nicholas Nash

The Girl at the Bar by Nicholas Nash
Publisher: Fireflies Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (390 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

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…

Is everyone a suspect, or a target?

Rebecca’s disappearance seems fairly simple at first. She has a one-night stand with a questionable man, Ragnar. The police are sure he’s up to no good. However, the deeper the police dig into Rebecca’s life, it becomes clear that no one is exactly who they seem. Suddenly the police have too many suspects and no clear answers. Then one by one people involved with Rebecca start to die. The police believe there is a slim chance Rebecca might still be alive. Will they find her before the killer claims another victim?

The Girl at the Bar is an intense mystery. I particularly enjoyed watching the investigation into Rebecca’s disappearance and the subsequent murders unfold from several different points of view, including the police, a private investigator, and Ragnar, Rebecca’s one-night stand. It was interesting to see how different the methods and avenues pursued by each of the characters were only to end up at the same conclusion. Would they have solved the mystery sooner if they had all worked together?

At first, I had no idea who the culprit was. It literally could have been anyone. The only person I never seriously suspected was Ragnar. I did question his motives a bit at the beginning, but as the story progressed it became clear that he truly cares for Rebecca even though he barely knows her. The way they meet is very entertaining.

I was able to figure out who the killer was mostly by process of elimination, especially after characters started dying. However, the motives of the murderer weren’t clear until the very end. There are several chapters from the killer’s point of view, and they are disturbing. I must add that this book contains graphic violence, some torture, sexual content, and some explicit language. Readers sensitive to this content are forewarned.

At times, I felt that the dialogue was stilted, and certain characters behaved in odd or unnatural ways. I also encountered some minor typos throughout the book. However, the mystery is compelling enough that these didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of the story.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Girl at the Bar. The characters are fairly likable, and the pacing is very good. Fans of intense mysteries should certainly give this suspense a try.

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