Book Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer By Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer

Edition: Hardcover, 226 pages

Publication Date: November 20th 2018 by Doubleday Books (first published July 17th 2018)

Original Title: My Sister, the Serial Killer

ISBN: 0385544235 (ISBN13: 9780385544238)

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Goodreads blurb:

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 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…

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a blackly comic novel about how blood is thicker – and more difficult to get out of the carpet – than water…

Love the idea of the plot and that was what drew me into this book. Crime and mystery is my favourite genre of books to read, so this book was right up my alley. That being said, I wouldn’t classify it as a mystery because there is no “whodunnit” and we already know who the murderer is. It wasn’t graphic or anything too extreme, but definitely not a cosy-mystery book either. This book focused more about the characters and their lives, rather than the actual murder.

I also would have liked to see more of the sister dynamic between Ayoola and Korede in the present and outside of the whole “I’ll-dispose-this-body-for-you-because-I’m-your-older-sister” element. Ayoola doesn’t really show much appreciation for all the troubles her sister has gone through for her, which could just be part of her character. However, it does make me question why Korede would go the extra mile to protect her sister, and then afterwards they go back to being almost distant from each other. I guess to an extent I understand the confusing relationships between siblings seeing as I have a younger sister myself, however I would’ve expected the sisters to grow closer together instead of rather apart. But then again every sibling relationship is different, plus I have never (and probably will never!) cover up a murder for my sister, so who am I to judge.

I guess my only real “complaint” about this book was the “my sister is prettier than me” trope and the “everyone keeps comparing me to my prettier sister” trope that was constantly brought up throughout the book. The latter was especially prominent throughout the book, and just when you think they’ve moved past that it comes right back to punch you in the face. It’s almost like being the ugly duckling is Korede’s entire personality trait– aside from being her sister’s sidekick, of course.

There was also a scene where Korede decides to wear makeup for work, which we are told isn’t really something she does often, so all her coworkers take notice. But then when Tate makes a comment about liking her better without makeup she quickly washes it off. That part confused me because we are supposed to believe that Korede is gutsy enough to dispose of a human body to protect her sister, but isn’t bold enough to ask a man that she likes out. It’s almost as if she just falls for whatever Tate does and says– and this is after knowing Tate has a thing for her sister which you would expect would turn her off completely from him, however her little crush never really goes away. Ultimately, I just wanted to see more character development from Korede.

4 stars.

Have you read ‘My Sister, the Serial Killer’? Let me know what you thought about it in the comments below!

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