Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan BraithwaiteMy Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Amazon|The Book Depository
Pages: 226
Published by Doubleday Books on November 20, 2018
Genres: Mystery/Thriller

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a blackly comic novel about how blood is thicker - and more difficult to get out of the carpet - than water...
When Korede's dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This'll be the third boyfriend Ayoola's dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede's long been in love with him, and isn't prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other...

Femi makes three, you know. Three, and they label you a serial killer.

I came for the catchy title and to knock a book off the GoodReads Choice Awards 2019 list – I stayed for the intriguing, swift-paced, prose. My Sister, the Serial Killer takes place in Nigeria and tells the story of two sisters, Korede and Ayoola. Korede, a nurse, has a beautiful, self-absorbed sister (Ayoola) who has a surprising quirk of killing her lovers and getting away with it. The novel opens to the third murder, Ayoola suggesting that these men tried to harm her, rape her, abuse her – she was only defending herself. It’s clear from the start that she’s a sociopath.

It’s dark, it’s humorous, it’s entertaining. And it’s quick, just over 200 pages and took me a lunch break and two hours post-dinner to finish. I’m a fan of true crime and thriller genres but I feel like I rarely read one worthy of a four star rating. Thriller might be the one genre where the less is more approach works well. I didn’t mind the shorter chapters, I think it was effective in building suspense and also feeling like I was experiencing the events in real time with Korede.

The character building was well paced and revealed. I only wish we got to experience more of Nigeria as I was somewhat unfamiliar, though it did encourage me to learn more on my own. I don’t want to spoil much as to the plot, but there were surprises I did and didn’t see coming.

A worthwhile read that, for me, definitely lived up to the hype. A thriller that you can’t put down!


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