Blurb: 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 ‘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 another…
Title: My Sister, the Serial Killer
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Genre: Fiction, Thriller(ish)
This book begins with Korede receiving a call from her little sister. It’s happened again. Another boyfriend dead and her big sister is required for clean up…
I was so intrigued by the concept of this book and it completely sucked me in! Korede was such an interesting character and I really connected with the way that the book was written from her point of view. I felt everything along with her, from guilt to nerves to the almost hatred of Ayoola at times, it was written so convincingly that I couldn’t help but be moved. Korede’s voice was that of an otherwise normal person with a dark secret and a wicked sense of humour which made her (and her actions) all the more believable. All of the characters were fleshed out with care, even allowing us to theorise why Ayoola carries her father’s knife and is prone to killing her boyfriends. Ayoola, despite being a sister’s worst nightmare, is fiery and flippant, practically forgetting about her victims as soon as they’re no longer a problem. Her character was perhaps the most interesting to read as the lack of remorse or care hints at something a lot darker than what we’re seeing but is shown just enough for us to draw our own conclusions about what happens when the book comes to an end. Personally, I find this a marker of brilliant storytelling.
The chapters are nice and short which makes this a perfect read for commuting or just a free afternoon where you have time to really commit to a story. I didn’t find that the short chapters made the writing clunky or jumpy but rather came across as a collection of thoughts that showed just how wrapped up in her own mind the main character was, constantly on the watch for something else going wrong. The story was well written and well paced, moving on just enough in every chapter to keep the story ticking along without getting boring.
The most interesting thing about this story to me was just how much it made me think about what I would do if I was in Korede’s position. If my brother was to, essentially, become a serial killer would I stand by and protect him the say way she does? Would I lie for him? And if I did, would I go as far as helping him hide the body and clean up the mess? This book provides a real in depth look at sibling relationships that I think anyone with a brother or sister would definitely find intriguing, if not chilling.
As for what I disliked, there wasn’t really much to fault. I did wonder how everyone stayed so cool about what was happening, particularly Korede. After all, she is cleaning up dead bodies every so often and having to try and keep herself and her sister out of trouble afterwards. I know that she has Muhtar to talk to but all of her freak outs seem very surface level when I’d suspected more of a emotional release. However, the lack of this does give Korede a sort of practical coldness that was chilling. Also, I’d like to think that in reality Ayoola would have been found out by now!
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book if you’re a fan of stories where you can’t help but hate the guilty and if this has got you questioning just how far you’d go to help your serial killer sibling!
Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to know!