My Sister, the Serial Killer
by Oyinkan Braithwaite
read in January 2019
rating: 3.75 stars
This is a spoiler-free review!
Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.
A kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where Korede works, is the bright spot in her life. She dreams of the day when he will realize they’re perfect for each other. But one day Ayoola shows up to the hospital uninvited and he takes notice. When he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and what she will do about it.
Korede’s sister Ayoola has killed three of her boyfriends in a row. Each time she claims they were committed in self-defence, and each time she calls Korede to help her get rid of all the evidence. My Sister, the Serial Killer started with a bang; I was instantly intrigued.
This novel is set in Nigeria and is only 226 pages long, so a guaranteed quick read. Considering we know the victims and perpetrator by the beginning of this book, this isn’t your classic mystery thriller. Perhaps I found the sisters’ dynamics even more compelling: Korede thinks her sister might be a cold-blooded killer as opposed to a victim, but she nevertheless cannot help protecting her.
I listened to the audiobook and finished it in a handful of hours. This probably won’t be my most memorable read of the year, but it was highly entertaining. I’ve never read anything like it and would definitely pick up more of Oyinkan Braithwaite’s work.
My Sister, the Serial Killer might also be considered a slice-of-life novel. The story started before the book began – e.g. several deaths and Korede’s feelings for a handsome doctor – and the story isn’t over when the book is. The ending might be a bit frustrating, but I’m okay with it. As someone who doesn’t like to read romance-centred books, I appreciated that Korede already had romantic feelings before the start of the novel. I much prefer that to insta-love.
My only issue with this novel is the claim that the murders were committed in self-defence. I won’t spoil whether that’s true or not, but in this day and age, I find it problematic when readers are lead to be believed someone is lying about being a victim of domestic abuse. I always want to believe victims, but especially in mystery thrillers, those claims are seldom legitimate.
content and trigger warnings for blood, murder, stabbing, child abuse, coma, cheating, anti-fat remarks (unchallenged)
Are you interested in reading this novel? If you have already, what were your thoughts? Though this won’t be one of my favourite reads of the year, I found it highly entertaining and recommend you check it out!
Thank you for reading,
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