My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite – review

 When Answering these questions will help receives a panic call from her sister Ayoola one evening over dinner, she is prepared with bleach, rubber gloves, steel-ribbed nerves, and a strong stomach. This will be Ayoola’s third partner that she has killed in self-defense, and her third mess that her dangerous younger sibling has left for Korede to clean up. For the sake of Nigeria’s menfolk, she should definitely report the incident to the authorities, but she loves her sister and, as the saying goes, family always comes first. Until Ayoola begins dating the doctor who employs Korede as a nurse.

To save one would mean sacrificing the other, and Korede has loved him for a very long time and doesn’t want to see him end up with a knife in his back.

When Korede’s sister Ayoola calls, she is prepared and knows what to do. the same as it was the two times before. She gathers her cleaning supplies, makes the short journey to meet her, and then starts to dispose of the body of the man who was her sister’s lover and whom Ayoola had just killed in “self-defense.” Is it a coincidence that Ayoola has a history of toxic partners, three of whom required fatal self-defense? Will Tade, the new man in her life, make a difference?

I received several responses encouraging me to do exactly that after posting on social media that I had recently purchased this book and was tempted to move it to the top of the to-read list. I attempted the first chapter because I had been assured it was a short read. Those commenters on social media were accurate. The short, crisp chapters of My Sister the Serial Killer make reading the book a breeze; it can easily be finished in one morning. That does not work against it. Dark humour is sprinkled all around, and Korede and Ayoola’s reaction to the killings gives it a cutting edge.

The reader quickly realises Ayoola and Korede aren’t acting right. While everyone else’s moral compass points in the same general direction, Ayoola’s is slightly misaligned, according to Korede. She continues to do something even when she knows it is wrong. On the other hand, Ayoola appears to believe that murder is her right and that it is someone else’s job to clean it up.

her own acts are sensible as a result. She accuses her mother of catering to Ayoola, her sister of being too attractive, her father of the way he was treated them all, and the men of falling in love with her. She is also influenced by beauty. both those of her sister, who she is constantly compared to, and the men her sister murders. The man who the sisters dispose of in the first few chapters is the one who truly haunts her. His writing is what Korede can’t forget, not his appearance. The first two individuals, whose physical characteristics don’t impress Korede despite scarcely being stated, are dismissed by her. While using Ayoola’s attractiveness to justify her actions, Korede appears to dislike the beauty. Korede makes use of Ayoola’s murderous instinct to make himself feel important and slightly superior. Her sister will only ever genuinely depend on her. Even though she is seduced by Ayoola’s beauty, Korede learns to hate the trait in others, notably in Tade, the doctor she is secretly in love with and who, upon seeing her sister, is also smitten with her.

When they were young, both sisters experienced maltreatment from their father, who Korede saw as a cruel, bitter guy who was solely concerned with himself and his job. He passed away a few years prior, and it is clear that his passing had a significant impact on both ladies, maybe planting the seeds for their acts in the future.

The novel’s location was fantastic. The sister’s mother pushing for both of her daughters to be married provides some insight on the views on marriage. Although the police and authorities play a very little role in the novel, there are situations when fines are paid and property is returned that are handled in a way that makes this appear ordinary rather than dishonest.

A darkly humorous examination of what transpires after a murder and of misdirected allegiance, My Sister, the Serial Killer. The reader is left wondering if Ayoola’s acts are worse or Korede’s icy support of them.

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