My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Publication date: Hardback, out now. Paperback, out 3rd October 2019.
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…Taken from the My Sister, the Serial Killer
I am late to the party when it comes to My Sister, the Serial Killer. If you search for ‘My Sister, the Serial Killer review’, there are a lot of results, but for a very good reason. This book is bewitching – in the darkest sense of the word.
This book is a fairly short read, I think it maybe took me a couple of hours total on a day of pottering about, watching TV, playing games and generally being easily distracted. And when I’d finished the book, I twice went back to it, subconsciously wanting more and then remembering that there was no more.
Like a lot of siblings, Korede and Ayoola are very different. Korede is meticulous, clean, organised, and predictable. Ayoola is chaotic, impulsive, messy, and dangerous. So, what makes Korede keep covering up for her sister’s brutal murders which she claims are a result of self-defence?
The narrative changes between the present time and Korede and Ayoola’s childhood. As their childhood progressively unravels, you begin to question their motives, and whether Korede is a reliable protagonist.
The more I reflect on this book the more I realise that it is a work of art. There are no big plot twists, just gradual revelations that make you question what you think you know – and that there is no accounting for the complexity of the human psyche.
The writing is exceptional; it entices you in like an insect to a Venus flytrap and there is no escape until it is done with you. It might seem a bit wrong, but it is also funny in a darkly comedic way. It is dry but also appalling in a way that will leave you shocked that you are laughing at it.
I have a huge list of questions about this book, I’m absolutely itching to talk to someone about it. On that basis, I highly recommend My Sister, the Serial Killer for book groups.
Many thanks to Atlantic Books for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
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What do you think of My Sister, the Serial Killer? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.