Christina Bergling was my guest yesterday (here's the link: Give Horror a Chance. Now, here's my review of her latest novel:
I can honestly say I have never read a book quite like The Rest Will Come. The opening sentence sets the scene:
‘Emma did not realize the keys were in her hand until she smashed them into his face.’
You can hardly ignore an opener like that, can you? So the main character - Emma - commits a bloody murder. The question now is…why?
This is where the author – Christina Bergling – shows us her considerable skills as a writer, in the story of how Emma got to that bloody scene in her garage. This isn’t the horrific part and maybe, being a horror novel, it shouldn’t work. But it does. In fine style. Without it, Emma would be simply another bloody serial killer – and she is much more than that.
Emma has lived her life trying to do the right thing. She works three jobs to make sure the bills run up by her reckless husband – Justin - are paid. She supports him in his endless pursuit of expensive and quickly abandoned hobbies, only to discover he has been cheating on her, serially. Even when he moves out, leaving her with his debts in her name, she avoids taking the easier route of declaring bankruptcy. Because Emma does the right thing. The bills are owed. The bills must be paid.
But Emma is lonely. That no-good husband of hers had promised that they would have children one day. That’s all she wants, a home and a family. Denied that, she decides to start dating again. Somewhere out there, surely she will find the right man. Someone who will love her, be the father of her children, share her life. But when you work three jobs that barely allow you time to sleep and don’t meet too many eligible guys at work, what are you going to do?
‘”You know, my heart is just not in this.’”
Keys can come in handy sometimes, and not just for opening doors either. With her first victim despatched, Emma discovers what she really wants. Kill the jerks. Make them pay with their lives. Pretty soon she’s hooked. And the numbers keep on piling up. Where will it all end?
The style of this book is its uniqueness. Through the way it is written and constructed, we learn a great deal about Emma’s character, personality traits, and her inexorable journey from model citizen to serial killer. There is the darkest of humour here and a fair splattering of blood and gore – not gratuitously though. Bergling is one heck of a writer. She paints vivid pictures of Emma, her best friend, Ronnie, and a small cast of characters who would probably say they knew pretty much everything about their friend Emma. All except one thing…
This is a novel I won’t forget in a hurry. Do yourself a favour and dive in there: