Book Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite….Noticing that the book is getting such positive reactions on social media, I knew I had to pick it up. The intriguing title and the cover art further piqued my curiosity. Well, I just loved the book. This is just my kind of book…a crime thriller with dark humour that keeps you hooked till the very end.

Set in Nigeria, the novel tells the story of Korede, a plain looking nurse who is more comfortable sharing her secrets with her comatose patient. Her sister Ayoola is beautiful, self absorbed and in the habit of killing her boyfriends. She kills and calls Korede to clean up the mess. She has killed three of her boyfriends and always claimed self defence but interestingly, she’s never injured nor does she ever seem to regret the killings.

Korede has a crush on Dr. Tade who works in the same hospital. However, one day Ayoola visits the hospital and Tade is immediately smitten with her. Poor Korede is not only angry, jealous and emotionally hurt but also worried for Tade given her sister’s history with men. Now is she going to let her sister hurt the one man she’s secretly in love with? The story gets darker, quirkier and more entertaining with each page.

The story is dark with twisted characters but so sardonic and morbidly funny at times. This isn’t just a murder mystery about the boyfriends being killed but it’s a novel about the familial ties & sisterhood, an exploration of the effects of a tyrannical father & childhood abuse and a one-sided love story set in Lagos, Nigeria.

Though Korede loves her sister unconditionally but deep down, she is angry and jealous of her beautiful sister who is so self-absorbed that she never notices the stress that she causes Korede. Both the sisters are flawed in their own way. One can’t help empathizing with Korede who is long-suffering, embittered yet selflessly loves her sister.  Equally enigmatic is the beautiful, manipulative serial killer Ayoola!

The plot is unique with multi-layered characters. The author has kept the prose crisp and sharp while adding dry sardonic humour to create perfect entertainer. The suspense and an ever-present dread loom large through the entire story. You’ll so desperately want to know how the book ends. Though the end was somewhat expected but still the author manages to keep the readers engaged till the end. This is not just a troubling story of a woman overshadowed and emotionally manipulated by her sister into taking a path she never would have taken but also drives home the face that our society so unfairly compares the women on the basis of their looks and the beautiful ones almost always emerge as the winner.

My Sister, the Serial Killer, was an entertaining, brisk read that can be read in one sitting. Overall, an interesting but unsettling book …Highly recommended!

Title: My Sister, the Serial Killer

Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite

Genres:  Thriller, Crime Fiction

Originally published: 20 November 2018

Publisher: Doubleday Books

Page Count: 226

Awards: Anthony Award for Best First Novel

 ©2020 Shaloo Walia All rights reserved 

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8 comments

  1. I read this book based on your recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed it. I anticipated a different ending, though. It is one of those books that could have gone in multiple directions at the end. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Yiour review has my interest piqued already. Especially this line – …in the habit of killing one’s boyfriends. How does one have such a habit 😀 I’m definitely looking this one up. Thanks for the review

    1. Hahaha…There are all sorts of queer people with even more queer habits. You will have to read the book to understand what I mean.

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