This review is spoiler free.
“The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.”
Published: 2019, by Atlantic books.
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary, Crime, Cultural, Africa
Contains: Murder, Death, Violence, Strong Language, Blood/Gore, Hospitals, Anger
‘My Sister, the Serial Killer’ follows Korede, who receives a call from her sister, Ayoola, that she’s killed once more, so it’s up to her to go and clean up her mess. She should probably go to the police, but she loves her sister, and as they say, family always comes first. That is, until Ayoola starts dating someone she’s in love with… and can’t risk losing.
This book has always caught my eye, the title immediately drawing you into what could be a compelling tale of family and trauma. As I’d hoped, it was all of that, but it was also so much more.
Korede is a downtrodden character from beginning to end of this story, always being played for a fiddle by her sister, Ayoola. However, their relationship was an incredibly relatable one in this novel. It’s clear to see that Korede loves her sister, and would do anything for her, but that is taken to a whole new level as she becomes an accessory in her crimes. However, there isn’t much growth to this character. Although, Braithwaite is more than capable of writing a characters flaws, there’s very little development of her character towards the end. Nevertheless, you sympathise with her, knowing the damage the events are causing her and wishing this played out differently for her.
Ayoola was a brilliant antagonist, however. She showed very little remorse for her actions, continuing to post on social media as if nothing had happened, whilst her sister was left in turmoil over the killings. Her complete disregard for humanity was spine-chilling, and made for the perfect serial killer.
Although, from the title you expect a murderous novel of blood and gore, this book gives you so much more. There’s family ties, unrequited love, and trauma that leaves you wanting more. The writing itself was concise throughout, each sentence having meaning and without filler to keep us entertained and compelled. The short chapters were a bonus, as were the chapter titles, keeping you gripped to the end.
Overall, I deeply enjoyed this little read. It was short, sharp and twisting, and I’m looking forward to Oyinkan Braithwaite’s future works.