Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite

Sometimes you want to read something easy, fun and light-hearted. In may ways it’s funny that I chose a book about a serial killer in order to fulfil this.

I’m sure you’ve all heard that My Sister, the Serial Killer is all of these things and more – it’s short and snappy, darkly funny and with an underlying tension and suspense that keeps you gripped throughout.

Aside from the gloriously catchy title, the premise of the book is epitomised by the fabulous opening scene: a young woman in Nigeria is called into clean up the body of the man her sister has just killed. And guess what? It’s not the first time this has happened.

As you follow the story of Korede and Ayoola, you’re drawn into a complex sisterly relationship where they argue about boys, keeping their rooms tidy, and, of course, why exactly Ayoola keeps murdering her boyfriends.

The story is about manipulation and familial loyalty. How far will Korede go to protect her sister? And what will happen when Ayoola starts to date Korede’s colleague who she has been pursuing for months?

There are also other family secreted hinted at by Braithwaite. The girls’ lives have been vastly improved by the death of their father, but when it comes down to it – how exactly did he die?

I thought I knew where the story was going and was surprised to find that I didn’t. I have to say that the ending was a little abrupt and unsatisfying for me, especially after such a fantastic beginning and build-up. It all came around too quickly, but in just over 200 pages, Braithwaite manages to cram in something that could have been much bigger.

I think I’m glad she kept it short, however – there’s something so matter-of-fact about the prose from Korede’s point of view, it makes it all the more sinister and darkly ironic given the subject matter. For a quick read that will make you laugh and cringe, I’d definitely recommend picking up My Sister, the Serial Killer.

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