My Sister, the Serial Killer

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

This novel was released last year, but has become one of those slow-burn successes we all love to discover. It’s been described as a dark comedy, but there’s a lot more dark than comic about it, that’s for sure. It asks some big questions, of the ‘moral dilemma’ kind. Korede’s answers are informed by her own psychological demons, making her decisions more understandable to the reader, but really – what would you do? A thoroughly enjoyable novel just a little out of the ordinary – a book club sure fire hit.
Was this review helpful?
It's a strange one is this – two sisters, one of whom has a compulsion to kill off her boyfriends once they grow tiresome, and the other, older one, worrying about who the next victim might be.   And that really is all there is. I had hoped for dark humour, but there's something so flat about the writing – there's no spark, no wit, it's just all a bit blergh.  

Unfortunately this doesn't encourage me to read any further offerings from the author, should there be any.
Was this review helpful?
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5 
Really enjoyed this - it’s a short, lively and original read, plenty of dark humour and pathos and the characters are really believable. I’ve been reading along with Audible but the Audible narration is particularly good because the performer’s accent takes you right into Lagos along with the characters. Highly recommended
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to the publisher for granting my request. Very skilled debut with a strong voice. Darkly comic and moving in the right measure.
Was this review helpful?
Wasn't able to read and give feedback before book was removed from e-reader

When Korede's dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This'll be the third boyfriend Ayoola's dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the fit doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede's long been in love with him, and isn't prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other...
Was this review helpful?
A very different and lively book. I loved the characters and their flaws. There was one predictable bit but on the whole entertaining.
Was this review helpful?
I found this book to be a quick read and it was enjoyable but it just didn't grip me the way some novels do. At times I found that the storyline seemed a bit farfetched, although I did enjoy the humour that was thrown into the mix too.
Was this review helpful?
There’s a lot of hype and I think it actually really deserves it! It was so clever and so funny. It was quite amazingly well done in terms of its construction and quick pacing. But really what makes his novel shine is that it's not just about the deaths but it's also about family and the way that that kind of interacts. To hold all this complexity in a short novel is really quite a feat.
Was this review helpful?
One of my fave books of 2019! I devoured this book.  I loved the setting and the characters and can't wait to read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
A darkly twisted yet humorous novel, it has set itself in a new age of fiction. A wonderfully original plot with fantastic characters and an excellent pace to keep you excited till the end
Was this review helpful?
Wonderfully entertaining and darkly humorous, this was an engaging book that did not disappoint. The plot was twisted, the writing stood out, and I enjoyed it just as much as I hoped I would.
Was this review helpful?
This was on my wishlist for so long and it certainly didn't disappoint.  A blend of horror, dark comedy and crime set in Nigeria - the plot was incredible, the characters wonderfully written and sharp, with lashings of dark humour and the perfect pace.  There was a lot of hype around this book and for me it was utterly justified; the writing is exquisite and I can't wait to read more from Oyinkan Braithwaite.
Was this review helpful?
A very unique book that draws you on with its originality. Fabulous characters and lots of humour throughout - albeit pretty dark humour!
Was this review helpful?
Really interesting and at times nervy and gripping and nervy. It certainly deserves its recognition purely on its totally different approach. Looking at the title, serial killer books are generally blood-filled with calculating psychotic killers. This is not although there is a degree of the psychopath in Ayoola!
The story is also an interesting look at the relationships within a family: the hard-working and trustworthy Korede and Ayoola who doesn't work, has little regard for others yet loved by all who meet her.
I found the writing style a little difficult early on but as I moved through the book it grew on me and allowed me to immerse myself in the setting better.
Well worth reading and deserving of reconition.
Was this review helpful?
‘My Sister, The Serial Killer’ is an amazing book with lots of tension and some very twisted plot points. This book is such a quick read and I found myself not wanting to put it down. The unique plot caught my attention straight away and held it to the very last page. I found myself half rooting for Korede and Ayoola to get away with these murders and half hoping they got caught just to see how it would play out. 

I really loved Korede’s character because she’s such a loyal, strong female lead. Ayoola’s character frustrated me to no end and I felt similar emotions as those of Korede throughout the book. I also really enjoyed reading a book set in Nigeria which is very different from the usual books I read which seem to always be set in the UK or the USA. It was a really refreshing location to read about. 

The only thing I didn’t love about this book was the ending, which wasn’t bad but it ended in a way I never expected and I thought it would be more explosive than it was. Although the ending definitely doesn’t take away from how great the rest of the book is and is still definitely worth a read.

I can definitely see why ‘My Sister, The Serial Killer’ was shortlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!
Was this review helpful?
A short but sharp and satirical novella about two sisters - a serial killer and her enabler. For such a dark premise, the book is darkly funny and just plausible enough to be titillating without veering into the absurd. The sisters have a complicated relationship - made more complicated by all the murders, naturally - which really forms the heart of this novel and their family background and their interactions keep things interesting. There are some excellent and thought-provoking observations, particularly about the way men think about behave towards women, and the implications and consequences for those women. The writing is fantastic, and I'm excited to see more from this author in the future.
Was this review helpful?
What I liked most about Oyinkan Braithwaite's highly anticipated novel was its originality.  I wasnt expecting it to be sprinkled with dark humour.  The story centres around Sisters, Korede and Ayoola and the secrets that they keep.  Korede is fed up cleaning up her sisters mistakes, but is Ayoola about to cross a line?  3 stars
Was this review helpful?
'My Sister the Serial Killer' is a simply written and at times darkly comic novel set in Lagos, Nigeria. 

Personally, I think the actual story of the book lies in the difficult bond between the two sisters, their shared history of abuse and their struggles within patriarchal society in general. 

In the end the whole message is that there is often little we would not do for those we love. Especially those we feel we owe a debt of gratitude or feel even partially responsible for when our pasts are shown to explain reasons for somewhat unstable mental health. 

I enjoyed the story and the style in which it was written, however I also felt it left me wanting. I've struggled to decide between three and four stars, but ultimately I'd expected more and felt the book didn't quite deliver as much as I'd hoped.
Was this review helpful?
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Set in Lagos, Nigeria, nurse Korede practically has a second job cleaning up after her sister Ayoola, who seems to lure men in almost siren style, habitually killing them. Unsurprisingly, painting a picture of Ayoola as a vicious princess that you want to dislike, that even her own sister wants to dislike (‘Ayoola looks like a Bratz doll and I resemble a voodoo figurine’).

The plot is set up fast with a catchy opener, the second novel I’ve recently read - the other being Good Samaritans, a seriously twisted comedy - that establishes the tone of the novel via an introduction to the wonders of bleach, which is always handy if you have a body to dispose of. 

Shamefully, my knowledge of African literature is thinner than a piece of tracing paper, yet it is clear that in any other context this novel wouldn’t stick together as it does, the things that matter in this society, such as status and class, underpinning the characters beautifully as the layers of the story are unwrapped. It presents itself as a dark comedy then reveals a tender tribute to loyalty, exploring the legacy of abuse and the fragility of mental health. At it’s heart, it isn’t about serial killers, nor murder, or even crime. It isn’t even about the ‘why’ to the crime, though we are given answers to questions that we didn’t even think to ask.

Even as a serious undercurrent gradually shapes the plot, the mischievous sarcasm of Korede stops the novel from becoming far too heavy. I shouldn’t laugh at Korede’s handling of simply being a woman, but I do, because us women don’t even realise half of the things we do to protect ourselves until it’s put in our face. Yet this novel doesn’t seem to have an agenda of slamming men, nor ridiculing the caricature-like ones who appear in it, it is just this: examining the complex relationship between two women who happen to be sisters.

My Sister, The Serial Killer was published by Doubleday on 3rd January 2019. Thank you to Doubleday for the ARC.

I read and reviewed My Sister, The Serial Killer quite some time ago, and it has since been long listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Congratulations to Oyinkan Braithwaite for being nominated, and thank you for giving me the rare experience of looking through an award’s nominees and being able to say ‘I’ve read that! (And liked it)’
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved this story of two sisters, one a psychopath, the other the nurse who feels obligated to clean up after her. It's a really unusual take on the serial killer trope - not only is the murderer a woman, she has a supportive family around her. Too supportive, really. Throw in a comatose patient and a love triangle and you have one intriguing, captivating, fast paced novel.

I'd love to see a follow up to this. There's no way Ayoola would be able to rely on her good looks to get away with murder for much longer, especially given how far she's pushed Korede's loyalties. Blood seems to be thicker than water, but for how long?

Unusual must-read.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC without obligation.
Was this review helpful?