Reviewing: My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Ayoola summons me with these words— Korede, I killed him. I had hoped I would never hear those words again.

My Sister The Serial Killer follows Korede, a nurse living and working in Nigeria, whose sister Ayoola has a complex relationship with her ex-boyfriends. You see, she keeps murdering them, and her claims of self defense are sounding weaker and weaker every time Korede gets called in to dispose of a body and clean up a murder scene. Ayoola is her little sister, and she loves her, and maybe one death could be an accident, two a very unfortunate accident, but three…that’s a pattern.

“Femi makes three, you know. Three, and they label you a serial killer.”

If Ayoola is a heartless serial killer, then Korede is her enabler without ever intending to be so. Incredibly tidy by nature, putting her skills to good use as she helps to maintain the hospital in which she works, Korede finds that her knack for getting blood out of sheets and grouting is useful in more than just an operating theatre. I learned more about how to properly clean up after a murder than I ever though I would know while reading this book. Additionally, by the time we see her in action, Korede is cleaning up her third blood-soaked room, so really it’s more routine for her than it is shocking as she wraps Femi’s body in sheets and carefully scours his bathroom for drops of blood. Ayoola, for her part, is adept at causing death but less knowledgeable about cleaning up afterwards. Or perhaps she never bothered to learn, after all her big sister promised to always take care of her no matter what. Surely dumping her ex’s body in a river isn’t too much to ask?

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I realized that Ayoola was beautiful and I was . . . not. But what I do know is that I was aware of my own inadequacies long before.

The relationship between the two sisters is complex and incredibly confusing at times. We watch Korede lie for Ayoola, dispose of the evidence of her crimes and resent her from afar for how easily she gets away with everything in life. Ayoola is beautiful, charming, talented…nobody would ever believe her to be what she is. Korede knows she is not beautiful, has accepted this fact, so when Ayoola zeroes in on the man Korede loves from afar as her next potential victim – sorry, ‘boyfriend’ – she grows hopeless. After all, nobody would look her way once Ayoola had her manicured nails into them.

“Will they believe his story?”

“I don’t know . . . it’s his word against yours.”

“Against ours, Korede. It’s his word against ours.”

This was a slow-burning thrilling read that I absolutely devoured because I just had to know what was going to happen with Korede and Ayoola, the unfortunate Tade standing between them. My only issue as a reader was that Korede felt distant, her decisions illogical – but I get the impression that this was purposeful. Nobody who is one hundred percent with it would just help clean up a murder scene. A childhood of parental abuse, their father bartering Ayoola’s beauty to the highest bidder and Korede standing beside her always have resulted in a twisted, unhealthy codependency between the two of them. Braithwaite writes extremely well and I’ll definitely be looking out for more of her work in future!

She will always have me and I will always have her; no one else matters.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 books

A Copy of My Sister the Serial Killer was provided by netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

2 comments

  1. This sounds like a thrilling read! I’ve read something similar to this though. The book is Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell. Reading about cleaning up crime scenes can also sometimes prove to be interesting, haha. Great review here!

    Liked by 1 person

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