My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: ★★★.5

Korede is a nurse and a very competent one. She is an introvert, reasonable person, neither ugly nor beautiful but someone who excels at her work. Her sister, Ayoola is quite the opposite of her. She is gorgeous, vibrant, irresponsible, reckless, and someone who comprehends men better than her sister.

Korede always protects her sister since it is expected of her as an elder sister to take care of her sibling. Even though Korede is envious of her sister, she is just a phone call away ready to help her sister in every way possible even when she commits heinous crimes of killing her boyfriends. Yes, Ayoola is a serial killer.

Korede has no friends or admirers. She is identified just by her work and her looks play no part in her admiration. Her sisterly affection has always shielded her conscience.

She has an incessant fear of someone finding out about their secret. Though she leaves no trace of the murder she feels disturbed every single day. She feels for the dead. She agonies her sister for this misery. Yet she cannot turn her sister to the police. Deep down she acknowledges the fact that her sister is a serial killer yet she needs to hear it from someone else to muster up the courage and make a decision.

Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize this book remains true to the judgement. It is a fast-paced first-person narrative with very short and engaging chapters. The title indicates a thriller, action-packed novel however, it is very different from a usual thriller.

There is no suspect nor an investigation because we have the killer in front of us all along. Instead, this deals with morality and familial virtues which Korede struggles with to disclose her sister’s secret.

It is dark and unsettling at times when Korede recollects her father’s memories. Rest, it feels like a fun read with ingredients of a family saga, sister rivalry, and love triangle.

“It’s because she is beautiful, you know. That’s all it is. They don’t really care about the rest of it. She gets a pass at life.” – Oyinkan Braithwaite

On the surface, this book talks about stereotypes based on appearance. Ayoola being the preferred one because of her looks and Korede being oblivious. Certain flashbacks talk about domestic violence and parental abuse glimpsing on the consequences of disjointed family structures.

It is a great debut, enjoyable, ideal for a languid read but it has its highs and lows. The book lacked some depth because I felt like I wanted to know more about the plot and the characters. Some of the sub-plots were left to the reader’s imagination open to interpretation which I felt could have added significant value to the book if elaborated.

Overall, it is a good read if you have an appetite for something different.

Rating: 3.5/5

Happy Reading,
Mini

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4 thoughts on “My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: ★★★.5

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