Book Review: My Sister, The Serial Killer

‘The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces…’

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I tend to rely on my wife when it comes to reading. Not to do it for me, I can just about manage that myself, but she is good at book recommendations. I must admit however that the garish cover and trashy title made me dubious about Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel My Sister, The Serial Killer

Ayoola is the eponymous serial killer from the book’s title and we watch her slowly unwind through the eyes of her long suffering older sister Korade. While the language is simple and the chapters short, there are multiple layers to My Sister… that ensure that it manages to remain compelling even in the more derivative moments. One thing I struggled with was the absence of a likeable protagonist. Every single character within Braithwaite’s novel is an awful, awful human being. So much so that I was actively rooting against them the whole time. This resulted in a somewhat unsatisfying literary experience but, having said that, I was never bored and I raced through the whole thing in a day or so.

It’s easy to see why this book has captured the imagination of both critics and readers alike, but I didn’t really connect on any emotional level to My Sister, The Serial Killer and while that is probably more to do with me than the book itself, it still stymied my enjoyment a little. Don’t let that stop you though. To quote the great Brodie Bruce I’m talking out my ass half the time, or sticking my hand up it…

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