Cover Image: My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer

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Member Reviews

A blackly comic novel about lies, love, Lagos, and how blood is thicker - and more difficult to get out of the carpet - than water.

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

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...

Well written book about two sisters Korede and Ayoola. Ayoola is a serial killer and Korede is her protector clearing up the mess she leaves. gradually the book gives you a fuller picture of their lives, it is both funny and dark at same time. Well written the book manages to bring humour to a dark tale.
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As soon as I saw the intriguing title of the book and the beautiful cover, I knew i had to read it. And I'm so glad I did!

Korede and Ayoola are sisters. Korede is the older, sensible one and Ayoola is the pretty and reckless one. Sounds pretty ordinary so far, doesn't it. Except...Ayoola is a serial killer who likes killing her boyfriends and then calling her sister to come and help cleaning up.

"On their one-month anniversary, she stabbed him in the bathroom of his apartment. She didn't mean to, of course."

This was an entertaining read that I would describe as a black comedy. I think the book might appeal to a wide range of readers due its wit and great punch lines.

"How was your trip?
It was fine...except...he died."

Many thanks to NetGalley and Atlantic Books for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a wickedly dark and clever story. It’s not the normal whodunnit type thriller - the title makes it very clear who did it! But the tension is built up through the relationship between Korede and Ayoola - really it’s about family and what they will do for each other. It’s also a really interesting insight into life in Lagos, Nigeria (not something I know anything about, other than through this book and the also amazing Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo). 

I just wish it was longer - at only 200 pages this just isn’t enough time to delve into the sisters compelling back story and relationship, tantalisingly hinted at through some brief flashbacks.

(Thanks to the publishers for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)
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'It was a shame to think that death would whittle away at his broad shoulders and concave abs, until he was nothing more than bone.'

I selected this book because the last few thrillers/crime novels I've read recently have been really disappointing. This novel doesn't have a 'big mystery', like a whodunit, and nor does it follow the Gone Girl/ Girl on a Train type of thriller plot that seems to have boomed lately. The focus is far narrower, and explores the relationship and dynamics between the two sisters at the centre of the story far more than the killings themselves, which I appreciated. I hoped that this style of novel would allow me to relate to the characters on a more emotional level, but honestly, I was left a bit disappointed. The story is really short, and at times I felt like I was reading a second or third draft of a novel in which only 50% of the scenes have been fleshed out. Because of this I didn't find any of the relationships (including familial) convincing, and when I was meant to be at the height of the plot I found I didn't really mind what the resolution of the novel was at all (it was also underwhelming). Additionally, I didn't understand how the side-plot with Muhtar was meant to support the story or provide another dimension to it. 

Ultimately, I wanted to like this book way more than I did. I think that technically Braithwaite is a skilled writer, and I liked her style, but I think the story could have done with being double the length in order to considerably flesh out each scene. I'm not going to actively search out Braithwaite's work but nor would I dismiss reading more of it if given the opportunity. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Atlantic Books for the advance copy in return for an unbiased review.
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Wow this is different. They say blood is thicker than water and in this case it is true. Sisters in a house with a tyrannical father. He has to go, so the plan it. When they bury him the youngest daughter creeps into his study and takes the curved knife from the drawer - to protect herself. Well written book, free flowing and emotional.
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I loved this novel and spent some happy time online, looking up the Nigerian fashions and foods which help to flesh out the setting of this frequently twisted and often touching story. The main characters are perhaps a little less fleshed-out than the setting, the sociopathic Ayoola especially, but the secondary cast is original, intriguing and well-drawn. Tade, Lagos' answer to McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy, is at once complex and cringingly obvious. Muhtar, Mohammed, Yinka, Femi the dead poet...all vividly portrayed and compelling.  I would certainly read more from this author - beautifully written.
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Fantastic book! Worthy of all the hype surrounding this book. Koredes sister is a serial killer- men fall for her beauty, and somehow end up dead at her hands- yet this is always self defence if you believe her. Korede always finds herself literally picking up the pieces for her sister, until her sister starts dating the one man Korede loves. A fast paced novel that I read in three days.
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The book is fantastically written. Set in modern day Nigeria, the author explores complex family and relationship dynamics without it ever feeling overworked or heavy. The characterisation is very well done and even though each character is unique with their own quirks and traits, it never feels like there are too many characters or like its hard to keep track. Highly recommend.
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I flew through this book.  How could one not really, when you know, the title really gives away the plot. 

Two Nigerian sisters.  The eldest, Korede has an important job, a plain face and a Mother who never seems to tire of telling her that her job is to look out for her little sister, Ayoola.   Ayoola is beautiful and appears to live a frivolous life.  She doesn't take anything seriously and thinks that because she is beautiful, that she will always get what she wants and doesn't seem to understand that that is not quite how life works. 

Poor Korede.  She really does have her work cut out for her. 

Having said all that, I was really expecting more but because this is quite a short book, I suppose there is only so much that the author can go in to.
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It’s pacy and solidly written. Not the most predictable but a good quick read. I enjoyed it, but I felt like it needed an edit, as there were some unnecessary characters (largely the hospital staff) and actions (the ex nurse shoe sales person and the fight between the two women over Muhammad). I felt like they didn’t add anything and took away from the pace. I’m sure it’s part of a larger commentary on Nigeria, but I wanted more character development of Ayoola and Korede.

All and all, an easy read touching on the ‘do we ever truly know anyone’ theme.
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Thank you to #NetGalley and #Atlanticbooks for this review copy.

Ayoola is the younger sister of Korede who helps her clean up all of her messes.

When I started this book I questioned why Korede would help her sister out of the messes she had made but once I started reading it more, I was hooked did not want to put it down.

As the chapters are short you feel like you're flying through it and could easily devour it in one sitting. 

I would recommend this book to everyone
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One of the best literary thrillers I think I've ever read. It was short and sweet and most definitely packed a punch. 

Oyinkan is a phenomenal writer and definitely one to watch. I've only just finished reading the book and I've already recommended it to anyone who will listen.
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How far does the sisterly bond go?! Well this story will help you understand that! 

When I first started it, I really wasn't too sure but it kept drawing me in and I couldn't put it down!
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This book is stunning. 

This is the story of Korede, whose younger sister Ayoola is beautiful, popular, and a serial killer. It’s initially unclear why Korede would help her sister clean up the (literal) messes she makes, but by the end of the book, you almost sympathize with the Ayoola, which is quite the accomplishment considering she spends the entire novel as a self-obsessed murderer.

The writing and plot are so great that the story feels both heavy *and* light – this book has exactly the right sort of tone for the subject matter. I thought it was brilliant and will absolutely be recommending it.
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A dark little tale about a young nurse grappling with her sister’s murderous tendencies. A really well executed idea (pun fully intended); I enjoyed this a lot!
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My Sister, the Serial Killer is a dark comedy about the bond between siblings. Korede is a nurse in Lagos and lives with her sister, Ayoola, and her mother. Her mother thinks Ayoola can do no wrong, but Korede knows otherwise. When her dinner is interrupted by a call from Ayoola saying a third boyfriend of hers is dead and she needs help clearing up, Korede goes to help. However, when Ayoola meets the cute doctor from Korede's work, Korede has to think about whether she can continue to cover up her sister's crimes.

This is a brilliantly pitched novel, a black comedy that delves into the darkness of Korede and Ayoola's past and their father whilst also creating this image of Ayoola, the clothes-designing, social media loving serial killer sister. The chapters are short and the pace fast, like a thriller or a high stakes sitcom. Due to Ayoola targeting her boyfriends, the book will probably get comparisons with novels like Gone Girl, but it is far more focused on the sisters than on any of the men, on their bond than on revenge or anger at any man.

Clever and unputdownable, this is one to recommend to everyone who likes black comedy or wants a story about sisters with a bit of a twist. It could clearly be adapted for film or TV, but it works very well as a short, incendiary book that plays with the expectations of sibling rivalry and hiding crimes.
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This is the story of two sisters.
Ayoola the beautiful, manipulativ serial killer and Korede, her big sister.

"Bis sisters look after little sisters." 
- That´s how Korede was raised. That means if Ayoola needs help .. she is there.
"It takes a whole lot longer to dispose of a body than to dispose of a soul, especially
if you don`t want to leave any evidence of foul play."
- Korede is trapped in a cycle of guilt, love and responsibility...

This book provides an insight into the problem of co-dependency on someone you love.
It`s also a (very) sad tale about self-sacrifice for the sake and safety in favor of the other.
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"Ayoola summons me with these words-Korede, I killed him. I had hoped I would never hear those words again." 

What an opening line! "My Sister, The Serial Killer" is a short, dark and funny debut novel set in modern Lagos, about a woman called Korede, who works as a nurse in a hospital and whose sister just might happen to be a serial killer, oops. Well, beautiful Ayoola did stabbed her boyfriend with a knife, and no, it was not a first time, but it was in self defense, right? Thankfully Korede is older, responsible, meticulous and knows how to get rid of the body. But what will she do when her sister sets her eyes on a man she loves?

This was a very enjoyable book, punchy, funny and twisted, its snappy, short chapters making it a fast paced read. I just wish it was longer! There are no unnecessary words here - the reader is thrown into the story straight away and even though it is a short read,  characters are so well developed. As Korede is struggling between loyalty to her sister and her guilty conscience, we learn that we never truly know another person, even though we are close to them. It is a book about sibling love and rivalry, about secrets swept under the carpet, true intentions and power. 

*ARC Provided via Net Galley
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Braithwaite has written a dazzlingly dark novel that pitches the blood of murders against the blood that binds two sisters, sometimes reluctantly together. With perfect pitch, she unrolls a story set in modern-day Lagos as nurse Korede is alarmed to find her serial-killer sister dating the handsome doctor with whom Korede herself has long been in love...

One of the things I like about this is that Braithwaite doesn't hang around: when so many novels are padded full of waffle, this one gets to the heart of the matter from page 1. Not that that means this lacks depth: on the contrary, we're kept enthralled by both the 'present' story of what's going to happen in this oh-so unconventional love triangle, even while we're also intrigued by Ayoola's psyche and her complicated, layered relationship with her sister. 

Buoyant and generous, with a welcome dose of humour and some sharp points about gender and power, this is refreshing and intelligent, with a hint of Ottessa Moshfegh's trademark off-kilter storytelling - definitely a writer to watch.
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