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Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer

4/5 stars

My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite (2018)

I really enjoyed this dark, morbid, thriller/crime story - not exactly a mystery because we know from the get-go that Korede's intoxicatingly beautiful sister, Ayoola, has murdered another boyfriend. This is now the third time Korede has received a frantic call asking for her help in cleaning up Ayoola's mess (literally, because Korede is an expert cleaner). Ayoola claims it was self-defense, but three times? And yet, Korede loves her sister, and has always acted as her protector (and enabler) ... no matter how sociopathic she may be.


Korede herself is antisocial, and jealous of her sister's beauty and ease with men, but remains loyal. That is, until Tade, the handsome doctor she works with and has a massive crush on, begins to date Ayoola. Korede does everything she can to dissuade the relationship, knowing that it might end up like all the others. Can she break free from the dysfunctional relationship with her sister to save the man she feels she loves? As Korede struggles with this choice, we learn more about the sisters' past, and what created this seemingly unbreakable bond between them - including some skeletons in Korede's closet as well, not just Ayoola's.


This is quite a slim little novel, so Braithwaite doesn't have much time to flesh out the sisters, their mother, the doctor, other nurses Korede works with, and the comatose patient that Korede confides in. But the author manages some expert character-building. The prose feels wicked but delicious, and is kept pointed and crisp. It's a very quick read, and doesn't disappoint. I was especially impressed to learn that it was her debut novel, and definitely interested to read the book she put out in 2021.

 

UP NEXT: The Deep, by Rivers Solomon


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