Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite

My rating: 3/5 stars

Rating: 3 out of 5.

One night in Nigeria, Korede’s dinner is interrupted by a call from her sister, Ayoola. Korede knows exactly what is expected from her, bleach, rubber gloves, a strong stomach and her car. This isn’t the first time that Ayoola has killer her boyfriend in supposed self-defence, it is the third time, and each time Korede comes to her rescue to clean up. But then Ayoola begins a relationship with the doctor Korede has long been in love with; she doesn’t want him to end up like the others. Whose side will Korede choose?

My thoughts

This book has been all over my feed and I was desperate to read it. I requested it from my Libby library app but I had it on hold for weeks before it was my turn to finally read it. I started it this morning and it took me no time at all, I finished it in one sitting and it only took me 1 hour 45 minutes. This is a new record even for me!

I should start by saying that this novel was dark. It wasn’t necessarily the acts in the book, although murder of course it dark, but it was more the character’s attitudes towards the act. I love that the novel was told from the point of view of Korede, as you could see her feelings of being torn between what is right and her loyalty to her sister.

Ayoola is the beautiful younger system that has a carefree attitude. This becomes almost sinister when her outlook doesn’t seem to change towards the murders. Ayoola doesn’t take accountability for her actions and never sees these acts as her fault. Korede’s character is not much lighter, taking a scarily clinical and detached approach to her sister’s acts and meticulously working out what to do.

The sisters are very well constructed characters. Both are complex with significant flaws which I love in characters. The sisters are not necessarily likeable, in particular Ayoola who is very manipulative and not the least big remorseful, but they are fascinating characters to read about. ] Although there are other characters in the novel, it is mostly based around the sisters and it felt like the other characters are there to support the plot.

This book really focuses on family ties and kept bringing me back to the phrase blood is thicker than water. I found the exploration of the sibling relationship is really what set this novel apart. There are times in the novel where Korede and Ayoola don’t seem to even like each other yet Korede is always there to protect and help Ayoola which I think a lot of older siblings can relate to. It really explores the question of what people will do for family.

The storyline is made up of a lot of short chapters which makes it so easy to fly through. The novel is disjointed in parts and is by now means poetically flowing prose, but the writing style really works with the story. There isn’t a lot of description in the novel, making the dialogue and actions of the characters the main focus. The pace of the novel is quick and I never found myself getting bored.

Overall however, I was left wanting more. I had such high hopes as this for a thriller but I wasn’t necessarily getting “thrilled”. It was quick and well paced but the ending wasn’t what I wanted which left me with mixed feelings about the novel.

I would recommend this book to those that are looking for a different take on a thriller. The added element of family obligation created a depth in this novel that I found really interesting. To those that have siblings I think that this would be a really interesting thriller for you to read. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Do you have a suggestion for the next book to add to my bookshelf? Let me know in comments.  


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