Review – My Sister, Serial Killer

My Sister Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a darkly comic novel about the limits of sisterly love. Great fun, but the book does not quite live up to its snappy title.

Korede has beautiful sister called Ayoola, who like many beautiful people benefits from a ‘Halo’ effect. Everyone loves her at first sight and consequently she can get away with … murder…

Pretty Ayoola kills her boyfriends for no apparent reason and plain Korede is always there to clean up afterwards. Korede is clearly deeply conflicted by this. At the heart of the novel is the conflict of family ties versus moral duty. Despite the fact that Ayoola seduces and tries to kill a man Korede loves, sisterly wins out.

I wasn’t quite sure what the author was trying to say here. Korede is clearly disillusioned with the shallowness of men who are transfixed by Ayoola’s beauty. Do beautiful people in life as well as fiction simply get away with more? Why did Korede cover-up for her psychotic sister who was only trouble? In the end, I felt that the author had created some great characters but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. And like her main character, she is now quite sure how the serial killer in the story should be treated, as a sister or as a killer. In the end, both answers would be unsatisfactory.

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