Book Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Maybe she is reaching out because she has sent another man to his grave prematurely. Or maybe she wants to know if I can buy eggs on the way home. Either way, I’m not picking up.
  • Rating: 3.5
  • Published in: November 2018
  • Read in: February 2021

Book Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

One night, whilst in the middle of dinner, Korede answers a distressed call from her beautiful younger sister, Ayoola. She knows what this means- time to clean up Ayoola’s mess again. This will be the 3rd boyfriend she’s dispatched of in “self-defence”. The right thing to do is probably report her sister to the police, however she loves her and blood is thicker than water, right?. But after an encounter at the hospital where Korede works as a nurse, Ayoola catches the attention of the doctor and man Korede has been in love with for a long time. Can she allow him to meet the same fate as her little sister’s past lovers?

This was such an entertaining read and I absolutely loved the dark comedic tone of it. I probably should’ve been disturbed at how matter-of-factly Korede spoke about her sister’s “habit” and the disposal of her murdered boyfriends by Korede herself, but I found myself laughing. I understood her matter-of-factness actually; you can only see something so many times before you become desensitised to it (OK, maybe murder is going a bit far!).

Something I would have liked more of is the ‘thriller/ mystery’ side of it. Although we gradually find out what may have caused Ayoola to become this way, I’d have liked more backstory into the murders she committed. I would like to have been shown, rather than told this part of the story.

Another thing I did love, though, was the commentary on the way men see women. They are seen as property and as nothing but pretty faces. Korede often highlights that Ayoola gets all of the attention from men because she is beautiful, not because of who she is deep down. Korede is not as beautiful (at least in her own opinion), but we can see that she is clever, witty and strong, yet she is still overlooked for Ayoola. While I obviously don’t condone murder (I’m not a psychopath), it was refreshing to see the men in the story as victims for once. Women are pretty much always the tragic victims of violence by men in films and books.

Without spoiling anything, I think the ending is one of those endings that will either leave you feeling very satisfied, or completely disappointed. For me it was the former. We get a real glimpse into Korede’s mind as she is narrating, and it made perfect sense for her character to make the choices she did.

Overall, I really enjoyed My Sister, the Serial Killer. It was funny, witty and very readable. If you like dark comedy and morally grey characters, I highly recommend it. I look forward to checking out more of Oyinkan Braithwaite’s work.

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