Cover Image: My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is the first satirical book I've read and I can't quite make up my mind whether I enjoyed it or not! I liked the premise and I finished it quickly
Was this review helpful?
Korede’s sister has done it again. For the third time, she’s killed her boyfriend and called Korede to help clean up the mess. Korede knows that three kills means Ayoola is possibly a serial killer, but what can she do - it’s her little sister. Then Ayoola begins to date Tade, a good-looking doctor in Korede’s hospital, and someone Korede herself is sweet for. How can she keep them safely away from each other?

This book was quite an amusing read, and Ayoola’s actions are definitely something that will make every reader throw their eyes up to the ceiling. She’s extremely full of herself, and seems oblivious to the damage she’s causing around her which is almost scary. This book is suppose to be a mix of satire and slasher and while there were bits of both, I think it lacked a big impact in either genre. I would have liked even more satire, or more slasher/horror. While I was amused at certain points, I didn’t find it as funny as i’ve found other satirical novels to be.

This book has had quite a lot of hype so it’s possible my expectations were too hight for it. It’s certainly a fine read - just not one that blew my mind.
Was this review helpful?
I have got to admit I didn't finish this book. I just couldn't get into it. I wanted to like it. It sounded like a unique idea but it just didn't execute well and I thought it wasn't that well written.
Was this review helpful?
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did.  It was a good story and well worth a read.  It took me a while to get into it but when I did I thought it was very good.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
My sister, the serial killer starts with murder from the get-go as we follow Korede helping her sister clean up the mess and get rid of the body of the man that Ayoola has stabbed, claiming self-defence. I really enjoyed the journey of discovery the character is forced to take whilst she goes on about her daily life and trying to cope with the guilt of the present and the demons of the past.

I really liked Korede to begin with and her flashbacks offered more insight into the why’s and how’s of the present. However, towards the end I started feeling frustrated with her as she was not able to see Ayoola’s manipulations and the web of lies in which she was caught up without even realising. It was plain to see Ayoola’s character and her continuous refusal to accept the truth irked me. I disliked Ayoola from the start; beautiful, manipulative and selfish.

The plot flowed well and the writing was keeping me intrigued the whole time, continuing to flick the page to see what will happen next. The short chapters help with the quick pacing, although sometimes made it just tiny bit too jittery and disconnected. I thought it was really clever how we get to find out more about the girls via memories and enjoyed how this was interlaced with the present day story.

I initially thought I would give it at least 4 stars because I can appreciate the satyr of this novel and the expose on corruption, etc, however, the ending was a major disappointment for me. I was expecting the ending to be quite different and Korede’s character lost points with me as the conclusion of the story was nearing. I can see why this choice was made, however I would’ve liked some actual sacrificed to have been made at the end.
Was this review helpful?
Thank You to Netgalley, Oyinkan Braithwaite and Atlantic Books for my copy of this book.

Just from the title of the book you know who who the killer is and although you know this I found the book oddly addictive. Its a strange book though as it concentrates on the relationship of the two sisters. I dont want to spoil it for anyone and say anything more about it as there are already many reviews about this book. 

But what I will say is this I just had to continue reading until the end as I thought I knew what was going to unfold, I was wrong with what I thought might happen and I am a bit disappointed with the ending as it didn't match to the ending that I had built in my head. 

I think  Oyinkan Braithwaite did a good job with this book but I am unsure if I am a fan or not.
Was this review helpful?
An unusual read but one I enjoyed. The things we do for family! Korede's sister puts her in some very difficult situations and her ability to deal with the impossible and unpalatable is as surprising as Ayoola's blasé attitude to her outrageous behaviour.
Was this review helpful?
I mean, why would I not end the festive season by reading a book about a serial killer?

I remember when I first started watching Dexter, thinking 'there's no way this show is going to be a thing for me' and then binge watching like a pro; I think there's something inherently fascinating about the mind of somebody like him, or like Ayoola in this book - I find myself disturbed but nonetheless curious. Not that this book is disturbing - less so actually then Dexter was. It's just a really good read.

I mean it: this book though guys, this book. I absolutely tore through it, I couldn't put it down and if real life hadn't been a thing then I'm pretty sure I would have read it in a day. It's good.

It was published on January 3rd and it's the story of a Nigerian woman (the book is set in Lagos) whose sister keeps killing her boyfriends. Basically.

WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE - part satire, part thriller, darkly funny and at times incredibly poignant, I am so glad I started my year off with this book.

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

It is I suppose, at its heart, a story of familial obligation - of unconditional love; I was thinking whilst reading it - what would I do if my brother called me up in a panic because he'd killed his girlfriend?

Let's be honest here: my instinct would be to help him.

I mean I'd be the last person he should ring because I have no idea how to get rid of blood from carpet, I couldn't fit a body in the boot of my little car and I am incredibly prone to nervous laughter, but still - I think I'd feel obligated to help him in some way because he's my brother, and that's what this book is about. When Korede gets a tearful phonecall from her sister saying I killed him, what is she supposed to do?

It's about that, and also kind of about the way women are pitted against one another and how often people don't see beyond the surface -  how much easier it is to get by if you're beautiful, how, as the book says, you so often get a free pass, and then also how we use social media; the use of Snapchat and Instagram is so interesting here, and very reflective of life - this book is a clever and relevant social commentary and I loved it.

Also it made me laugh. I like books that make me laugh and also make me think.

“You’re not the only one suffering, you know. You act like you are carrying this big thing all by yourself, but I worry too.” “Do you? ’Cause the other day, you were singing ‘I Believe I Can Fly.’ ” Ayoola shrugs. “It’s a good song.”

It's a short book, but it gets under your skin. I swear, I was so hooked and so intrigued and that's really funny because I actually I don't think I particularly liked anybody; whilst you kind of get a glimpse into why Ayoola might be a murdering sociopath, you still don't really like her (she's a  bit of a dick) and whilst you kind of understand why Korede might have found herself drawn into this murderous web her sister is weaving (see above re familial obligation) you still kind of want to shake her a little bit because STAND UP FOR YOURSELF A LITTLE BIT KOREDE OH MY GOD and also stop being so whiny if you please. That's not to say they're not deliciously well-developed characters - they absolutely are - this book is stunningly written - they're just not likeable and honestly, I really loved that; I loved being so invested in this story about these people I wouldn't really want to be friends with (and I know,  of course I wouldn't because serial killer, but that's not the point....)

This is such a strong debut,  it's short, it packs a punch and the ending is works.  I am so impressed and honestly: 10/10 would read again.
Was this review helpful?
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is the story of two sisters, one of whom, Ayoola, l has the habit of burying a knife into her boyfriends, the other of whom (the narrator, the eldest, Korede) cleans up after and protects her sister. This is a darkly comic story of love and death in Lagos filled with tension of both the familial and the more suspenseful kind; is Ayoola just incredibly unlucky in love and acting in self-defence, or is she a cold-blooded serial killer? When Ayoola gets involved with her sister’s work collegue, Korede has to decide... 

This was a little different to what I’ve been reading recently but I really enjoyed it! Korede is a compelling character and as an eldest sister myself I appreciated her sense of responsibility and fierce protection of her younger sibling. This is also, for all its dark subject matter, a consistently laugh-out-loud hilarious book and the world of the city of Lagos leaps off the page. Overall it’s slick, inventive, and absorbing - 4 🌟! I recieved this book via @netgalley from @atlanticbooks to review but as ever this has not influenced my opinions or this review in any way.
Was this review helpful?
Many of the books I have been reading recently have been whopping tomes of about 400 pages, so when I read reviews about this book, I was drawn to the fact that a) readers loved it, and b) it was under 180 pages (on my e-reader that is, it may differ in print). What it lacks in page numbers, it makes up for in content. The action flows, the characters come to life, the blood spills. You may have to forgive the author for not expanding on some points, and for letting the sisters get away with some actions that in other murder mystery books would have had them arrested and sentenced on the spot, because to keep the plot short and punchy some things have to be let go. I loved the scenes of Korede at work as a nurse in the hospital - you almost forget that there is a murderous sister at play in the background of the story. You pity the foolish doctor who falls under the spell of the sly knife-wielding sister, and you almost understand why she is how she is when you learn more about their father and his associates.

A good short thriller that satisfies, and an author to look out for in the future.
Was this review helpful?
A fun and thrilling story set in Nigeria. I found some of the dialogue hard to follow due to the language differences. But I was sad to reach the end of the book.
Was this review helpful?
Korede is the older sister and that brings with it the the feeling of responsibility for her younger sister Ayoola, but how many sisters would go so far as to dispose of bodies that her Ayoola had killed. This is not only a mystery/suspense book but it also delves into the family dynamics, how far would you go to make sure your sister is safe? 
Set in Lagos Korede is a nurse and lives with her mum and her sister who she loves very much and so when she gets the call from her pleading for her help because she has stabbed her latest boyfriend she does not hesitate in rushing to her side and cleaning up after her and disposing of the body. You may think that this is taking 'family ' a bit too far but this is not the first time she has done this. 
I really enjoyed the book and the short chapters seemed to encourage me to 'just read another one' and I whizzed through the book.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks so much to @NetGalley and @Atlanticbooks for the arc of this book.

In just under 250 pages it's a quick read, this is aided by short chapters - some of which are only a paragraph and a story which hooks you in from it's opening line.

The book centres around two sisters who live in Lagos - Korede and Aylooa.

Korede, works as a nurse at the local hospital, hard-working, barely noticed by the world around her, ridiculed by her colleagues and secretly in love with the handsome Doctor Tade. Aylooa, is confident, alluring, attractive, charming, adored by and bewitches all who come into contact with her.

Aylooa has killed three men, the story starts as she has just murdered, the third; Femi, her current boyfriend. Korede assists her in covering up these murders, disposing of the bodies and cleaning up her sisters mess. But as Aylooa edges ever closer to Koredes world, she worries that her work crush Tade will fall under Aylooa's spell and be her next victim.

I have to be honest here and say that I didn't take to either Korede or Aylooa as characters, they were written wonderfully well however I found Korede frustrating for not standing up to her sister in certain situations and for being daft enough to spill her secrets to her coma patient. Aylooa, I liked the least I found myself shouting at the book when she kept turning up at the hospital. I found her selfish, self centred and unaware of the position she had placed her sister in. Aylooa has very few if any redeeming features that I can think of, if I am honest.

However, this doesn't mean I didn't like the book, I found it darkly funny in parts - I loved the comedic relief that secondary characters such Bumni and Yinka provided.

As the story progressed I fluctuated between feeling sorry for Korede and wanting to give her a bloody good shake for not being more assertive and standing up to her sister. I suppose that's the whole point isn't it, how far would we go to protect the ones we love and would we risk everything in order to protect a sibling.

This book is not as intense as the title suggests, it is witty, sharp and humorous but it also has an undercurrent of social issues; physical chastisement, domestic abuse and how these factors have shaped the decisions that both sisters go on to make in their adult lives.

If you like a sharp, witty read with characters you will love to hate within a complex family dynamic then definitely pick this one up.
Was this review helpful?
My Sister, the Serial Killer features two archetypal sisters – the pretty one and the sensible one. Korede, a conscientious and competent nurse, comes to the rescue of  the beautiful and charismatic Ayoola when she murders a boyfriend (again).

This opening section of the novel is brilliant. We see the sleek minimalism of the victim, Femi’s, apartment, violated by his own blood, and get a chillingly detailed account of how Korede cleans up and disposes of the body (turns out I’ve been using bleach wrong all these years).

Later, we see how Ayoola is oblivious to the trauma she has inflicted. When Korede objects to her posting selfies to Instagram at the point where she is supposed to be mourning for her ‘missing’ boyfriend, she is genuinely bewildered.  Korede continues to cover for her, even when Ayoola begins to turn up at the hospital where she works and dazzle the doctor Korede is in love with.

I liked the voice and the humour and the dynamic between the two sisters. My slight disappointment with the novel is that it never moves beyond the predictable. It doesn’t have the twists and the drama of a thriller, but nor does it have the depth of a psychological novel.

There is great poignancy in Korede’s reflections on Femi and his poetry (which was gorgeous, I’d have liked more of that!) and in her feeling the only person she can talk to is a comatose patient, but these elements of the story aren’t followed through. Instead, we got some backstory which suggests, not quite convincingly, how the sisters may have become who they are, and a downbeat ending.

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a stylish and atmospheric short novel, shot through with dark comedy. It’s an entertaining read, but it didn’t quite have the edge I was hoping for.
Was this review helpful?
A short novel,  too long to be a novella but not as long as usual. The relationship between Korede and Ayoola is alarmingly symbiotic. Korede needs to rescue Ayoola, as much as Ayoola needs rescuing. The dialogue and wit is razor sharp. An incredibly clever and unique satirical commentary on how much we value appearance over everything else in today's Snapchat/Instagram society. The only negative, for me personally, was that the ending was too abrupt. I shall be looking out for more of Ms Braithwaite's work.
Was this review helpful?
A very different book for me,ai enjoyed lesrning about Nigerian culture and thought the story well written,quite funny in parts and would appeal to a wide range of readers
Was this review helpful?
Astounding, enthralling and unputdownable I haven't read a book like that for a couple of years and what a great way to start 2019!

Oyinkan Braithwaites literary writing style is seamless and without fault from the offset.  Not only can she produce duplicitous and multifaceted characters but also has the ability to draw you in and empathise with their history and actions leading to future events.

I am already a fan of Nigerian literary fiction but this will be one I recommend for sometime to come.

This tells the stories of 2 sisters each strong in their own way yet with the inexplicable link some siblings have based on their lives together.

Korede the eldest sister silent in her understanding that power does not always come from beauty.  Intelligent, hardworking but naive to the world of love.  So when the colleague she is besotted with falls for her stunning younger sister Ayoola the story will weave and wind it's way to its salivating conclusion.
Was this review helpful?
This was a short and sweet book, and a pleasure to read from start to finish.

The story is written from the perspective of Korede, a very practical woman who has spent her life in the shadow of her beautiful younger sister, cleaning up the crime scenes she leaves behind when she consistently murders her boyfriends.
Korede resents Ayoola's behaviour and the fact she gets away with (literal) murder because she's physically attractive, but the family ties that bind them are strong so she feels she has to protect her and stand by while she goes about her sociopathic existence.
I really like Korede as a character, she isn't a flawless martyr in this story at all which makes things much more interesting.

As the story progresses, we find out more about the reasons behind why the sisters behave the way they do and the more I think about it, the more impressed I am with how the author managed to fit so many ingenious layers to this story in only 226 pages. It really is the gift that keeps on giving and has made it to my 'read again' list!
Was this review helpful?
HUGEST of thanks to Netgalley and Atlantic Books for letting me read their Book of The Month for January, and superlative debut,  ‘My Sister, The Serial Killer’ by Oyinkan Braithwaite.
This Nigerian set, darkly comic ,feminist novel has such bite, each chapter is sharp, succinct and dripping with atmosphere and culture.
Sisters Ayoola and Korede are being raised by a mother fuelled by Ambien since the death of her husband. Korede is a nurse , Ayoola a fashion designer and social media icon, modelling her designers then making them. One is focussed on the internal workings of people and the other is focussed on appearance and artifice.

Except Ayoola keeps killing her boyfriends and Korede is the one she calls when it has happened again because that is what big sister's are supposed to do, right? But when the body count reaches 3 and Korede realises Ayoola is now a serial killer, where do they go from here?

And when Korede falls for a dr at the hospital, what happens when he meets Ayoola and things start to go horribly wrong?
A razor sharp thriller with a wonderful sparse turn of phrase that allows for no superfluous narration, Korede springs from the page , fully formed!
I absolutely loved it and cannot wait to see what Oyinkan Braithwaite does next!
Was this review helpful?