Review: “My Sister, The Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Dark, yet humorous in places. A gripping and entertaining read.

About the Book

“My Sister, The Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Korede’s younger sister Ayoola is beautiful and has no trouble finding boyfriends. They just find it impossible to survive her — quite literally. After cleaning up the bloody mess and disposing of the body of her sister’s third victim, Korede discovers something about Ayoola on Google. Her sister is a serial killer.

But according to Ayoola, she’s only defending herself against physical abuse. It’s a story Korede has a tough time believing, especially when her sister is caught dancing and posting videos to social media right after the most recent murder. However, she loves her sister and will do anything to protect her, even when it means becoming an accomplice after the fact.

That is, until Ayoola shows up at the hospital where Korede works as a nurse and attracts the attention of handsome doctor Tade, the man Korede loves. When Tade starts to date her sister, Korede tries to warn him of her nasty habit. He spurns her words. That is, until he becomes Ayoola’s next intended victim.

Will Korede do anything to protect her sister as she has in the past — even if doing so costs the man she loves everything?

My Review

Set in Lagos Nigeria, “My Sister, The Serial Killer” isn’t a gory murder novel as the title may imply. It’s also not a horror story or thriller. Instead, “My Sister, The Serial Killer” is darkly funny. You’ll chuckle at things that would otherwise make you gasp, such as when Ayoola goes on a business trip with a suitor, then comes back alone — and happy.

“How was your trip?” asks Korede. “It was fine, except he died,” Ayoola chirps.

“My Sister, The Serial Killer” is not a long book. The page count falls just over 200 pages, but Braithwaite makes every word count. Truth is, it’s not a short, simple tale of murder. The sibling relationship between Korede and Ayoola, hints of child abuse, love, and loyalty are also seamlessly woven into the story. “My Sister, The Serial Killer” bounces from word to sentence — and from paragraph to page — with ease. The writing is sublime. The story line is well executed. The character development is exceptional. Even minor characters are made vivid to the reader.

It’s no surprise that “My Sister, The Serial Killer” made several ‘best books of the year” lists and was nominated for the 2019 Booker Prize. The way Braithwaite writes about such a dark subject with humor makes it a gripping and entertaining read. It’s one that I confidently recommend to anyone who loves satire, dark humor, or even a smidgen of suspense. It’s well written — and it’s fun!

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