My Sister, the Serial Killer

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Pub Date 03 Jan 2019 | Archive Date 03 Jun 2020

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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...

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...

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ISBN 9781786495976
PRICE £12.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 189 members

Featured Reviews

Humour and serial murder don't often go hand in hand but Oyinkan Braithwaite has pulled it off. This is the story of two sisters; the elder who strives to please and protect, the other beautiful but a little prone to ending her relationships abruptly.

Korede, a nurse and the saner of the two sisters, has fallen for a doctor colleague at work. Unfortunately for Korede her beautiful sister, with the unfortunately short relationship attention span, sets her sights on the young man. Should she warn the doctor about her sister's way with men or sit back and wait with the bleach and rubber gloves?

A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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Darkly funny, My Sister, The Serial Killer is possibly one of the most original books I’ve read. I loved the genuine language detail and expressions. What’s special about this book is that you know whodunnit, the question really is will she get away with it?

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I loved My sister, the serial killer. It is unusual to ever read which shows living life when your sister is a serial killer! Loved both main characters and I'm hoping that Oyinkan Braithwaite is writing a sequel!

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I really enjoyed this book. It was a interesting concept and I liked all of the characters even the serial killer was pretty cool herself. It was interesting to see the point of view of someone helping cover up the crimes and how they decide to handle things that go along with that. There was also a nice vein of humour that run through the book that stopped things from becoming too dark and depressing which helped with the enjoyment and kept things light.

Defentily would recommend for people that are looking for something different from a crime novel. All in all a real enjoyable read.

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Silly and funny, this black comedy grabbed my attention from the start. Two sisters, one of whom has an unfortunate habit of doing away with her besotted suitors, the other bailing her out of some very awkward situations. Very dark comedy indeed.

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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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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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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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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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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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Yesterday I finished My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite and I loved it! It's about Korede and her sister Ayoola who keeps killing her boyfriends. It's a very fast read, it tells a dark story, but in a fun light way. I could have read 100 pages more about this sister duo and their lives. Excited to see what Oyinkan is writing next. Highly recommend this one.

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What a refreshing and farcical story about sibling rivalry and murder. And a fantastic debut to boot.

Korede is the good daughter, the good sister, and the good nurse who tries to protect her sister. Chapter one opens with Korede being called to clear up Ayoola's mess: she's fatally stabbed her boyfriend (once in self-defence and twice more just to be sure?). But this isn't the first time Ayoola has killed.

Korede's family life it told with such wit, you almost forgot to eye roll at Ayoola's poor behaviour. When Ayoola starts to woo the dishy doctor at the hospital Korede works in, he isn't the only fly caught in the web. The reader is allowed to slowly be brought into the fold. One tantalizing dramatic chapter at a time. There was a brilliant twist two thirds through that I did not predict!

A great read. I look forward to seeing more from Ms Braithwaite.


Thank you so much the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary electronic copy in return for an honest review.

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I was getting a bit bored of all the thrillers I've read recently, but I'm glad I picked this up! This is a fast paced short read full of dark humour and interesting characters. Absolutely loved it, I read it in one sitting. I particularly enjoyed the setting in Nigeria. I look forward to reading more from this talented author.

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I was so pleased to get an advanced copy of this (thanks, Atlantic Books). The paperback version is out on 28 November, so not long to wait now! In my opinion, it is worth the wait.

Set in Nigeria, Korede’s sister Ayoola has killed 3 of her boyfriends, and every time Korede has been there to help her cover it up. Ayoola claims each time that it was self-defence, but Korede (understandably) isn’t all that convinced. Things get even more complicated when the doctor Korede works with at the hospital, and who she’s madly in love with, falls under Ayoola’s spell.

This book is very fast-paced – I read it in no time, and I’m a notoriously slow reader. The chapters are short, so the snappy writing and dark humour mean you just fly through it. Books like that can sometimes feel like they lack depth, but that’s not the case here. The characters were really human and so well-developed. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Korede, even while realising she probably wasn’t an entirely reliable narrator. She’s frustrated by her sister’s behaviour but will ultimately do anything to protect her, and as the story progresses you begin to understand why she is this way.

Ayoola is also an interesting (and frustrating) character – you never know where you stand with her and so you’re constantly questioning whether she’s being honest, even by the end of the book.

It might sound like dark subject matter, but Braithwaite does an excellent job of keeping it light – there are some genuinely amusing moments. But the humour doesn’t detract from the humanity of the characters and you can’t help but want to know what will happen to the two sisters. You can’t help but root for them.

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'My Sister the Serial Killer' has a plot as sharp as the knife which Ayoola (the titular serial killer) carries around with her, I devoured this in one dark and delicious gulp. It's so rare to read a book where a serial killer is both a) a woman and b) isn't set in Europe or the USA and this one deserves all the plaudits which have been showered on it.

The relationship between the two sisters feels incredibly real - a mix of rage, jealousy and protectiveness - and Ayoola herself is fantastic. Both stunningly beautiful and stunningly wicked, the story captures just how manipulative she can be to those around her. And her sister (and the book's narrator) Korede isn't taken in by any of it.

The perfect thing to read if you've got a spare few hours and fancy something wickedly readable (as well as just plain wicked.)

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I really enjoyed this book set in Lagos. Korede is a nurse at a hospital and a clean freak and we meet her in the first chapter cleaning up after her beautiful sister Alooya has stabbed yet another beau. What can Korede do? she wants to protect her sister but her sister seems to have no conscience or even gratitude for all Korede does for her. Korede confides her woes to a coma patient who is not expected to recover. She carries a torch for a handsome, kind doctor at the hospital but one day Alooya surprsies Koreded at work and meets Korede's adored doctor who falls had over heels for Alooya's charms. What should Korede do? Warn him or go along with whatever her sister decides to do on impulse as always?

I liked the black humour of this tale. It's not a long book. Just a slim volume but it kept me turning the page. and I was sad when it ended sooner than I expected. I laso liked the descriptions and well observed mannerisms of Korede's work mates and life at the hospital. Different and enjoyable.

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I was really interested in this book, especially because it's not every day that you see an advert on the tube about a book, especially one with a woman wearing a hijab on the front. Plus, the title My Sister, the Serial Killer is the kind that really makes me want to find out more.

Oyinkan Braithwaite has created a novel that lives up to the intrigue of its title. The narrative style is interesting - jumping back and forth in a manner that is reminiscent of someone who doesn't know what to think or do, who's a little bit panicked and is trying to make sense of everything, and yet still manages to convey a full and satisfying story. Each chapter is brief and cuts to the point early on. It's a genuinely fascinating read, and the way it's written is perfect for this story.

It's a story, predominantly, about loyalty. Korede is loyal to her sister, Ayoola, and wants to help her out... but at the same time, she wants to stop her sister from, you know, murdering people. Because it's been at least two now. Seems like a pretty unique situation on the surface, but in the true manner of satire, Oyinkan Braithwaite manages to cut it down to the core issues that are far more relatable: jealousy, loyalty, and people being dumb when they're in lust.

Reading the chapters that detail what lead Korede to this kind of dangerous, almost unbelievable loyalty to her sister really gripped me, because I could see what made Korede the kind of sister to literally cover up murder, and worse than that? I could relate to it. That made it a lot easier to understand her struggle of whether she should protect and help her sister, or should she, you know, stop a murderer?

I wasn't expecting the book to go smoothly. But the ending was still one hell of a twist, and one that surprised me by how much I really liked it. The ending is a risky one in that it has the potential to feel deeply unsatisfying. But in this case, I think it was the perfect ending to convey what it needed to: a story about grey morals, and how being right isn't that easy, and also what happens when you're dumb and lustful. (Spoiler alert: it isn't murder. Most of the time. But it could be.)

The only reason I didn't rate this as five stars is because although it was interesting, I still wasn't gripped as much as I could have been. I could easily see myself putting this book down, and then not having the time to come back to it for a while, and not being hugely bothered by it. Either way, I would happily recommend this book to loads of people for a deeply interesting, thought-provoking and pretty short book - well worth your investment.

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This book. A quick read but one that will have you hooked and devouring it. Oyinkan has an incredible talent for writing that pulls you in. I loved it. One of my favourite books I've read this year.

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One of the best books of the year. A darkly comic exploration of family ties and loyalty. I cannot recommend this highly enough

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Korede and her sister Ayoola live in Lagos together with their mother since their father dies. Korede, who works at a hospital as a nurse, is a decent, but rather plain young woman whereas Ayoola always has all the looks on her. Even though the sisters couldn’t hardly be more different, they are sister after all so when Ayoola calls her, it is without any question that Korede shows up with some bleach to wipe away the mess of another murder. They have done it before and will also succeed this time. Why does she have to kill all her boyfriends? Korede wonders but since none of the was really important to her, she remains secret and the sister she is supposed to be. But when Ayoola starts dating to one man Korede really likes, things become a bit more complicated.

Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel is a hilarious read full of absurd situations and fantastic characters. The author, who graduated in Creative Writing and was a 2016 finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, surely knows how to create outstanding characters and how to combine humour with an actually very serious topic. What I appreciated most is how she, on the surface, wrote a funny story that, beneath, offers so much crucial and grave issues. What it all comes down to after all is the well-known fact that blood is thicker than water and that without any question, you know which side you have to be on.

Ayoola is a serial killer – absurd as it may sound, the title is absolutely clear about it and after the opening scene, you know all about her killings. Yet, this is one of the least interesting aspects, much more remarkable is the sisters’ relationship: jealousy, love, anger, hatred, support – the full spectrum of emotions. Of course, it is Korede that the reader commiserates, she is obviously the good girls that nobody notices, neither their parents nor the men. I wondered if Ayoola suffered from some kind of mental illness, she somehow does not really seem to realise what she does, but she definitely is rather egocentric and not very considerate when it comes to other people’s feelings.

“My sister, the Serial Killer” is a black comedy that should not be taken too seriously I guess. It is a great read that I utterly enjoyed. I am absolutely looking forward to reading more from the author.

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Thanks to Netgalley and Atlantic Books for this arc in exchange for an honest review. I loved the premise of this eccentric genre-blending and subversive book. I devoured this fast-paced and quirky story.
This is narrated from the POV of Korede, who gets a frenzied phone call from her younger sister, Ayoola, one night. Ayoola has stabbed her boyfriend in self-defence. Calm and collected Korede goes over to help her sister: she wraps the body up and they drive to a bridge and toss it into the river, then they return to the boyfriend’s flat and clean it up. This isn’t the first boyfriend Ayoola has stabbed...
Korede works in a hospital in Lagos, has a crush on her colleague, Tade, and lives with her mother and Ayoola who is doted on. Korede’s life, however, is thrown off balance when Ayoola pursues a relationship with Tade, and she finds herself consumed with envy and torn: protect Ayoola or protect Tade?
This was a quick easy read, with an original premise. I loved the sister relationship, especially the flashbacks to their childhood. Amidst a heavily saturated genre I found the voice of Korede gripping and the setting of Lagos, especially refreshing and to me this book really stood out. It’s a pacy and addictive psychological suspense to be consumed in one sitting. 4.5/5

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My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Published by @atlanticbooks
Publication Date 3rd January 2019

Firstly I just love the cover- The very bold and vivid green for the titles I thought looks great.

What an amazing book- I just loved everything about it.
It is fast paced which I loved and I just wanted to know what happened next.

The book/story is set in Nigeria- Korede has a younger sister Ayoola-who uses her beauty and popularity to date men who fall for her but they then end up dead.

What I enjoyed about this book is that there is an excellent balance of dark and light undertones to it which really works.

Oyinkans writing is simply brilliant. Cannot wait to read her future work.
Save your Christmas money for this book out 3rd January 2019

Excellent Read.

Thank you Atlantic Books for sending me this great book.

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The title of this fast paced and darkly humorous book tells you all you need to know!. Based in Nigeria, it describes the relationship between 2 sisters once one of them has murdered their 3rd man and can therefore be officially classed as a serial killer. Peopled with believable characters facing less believable situations the author carried the story really well and I was happy to go along for the ride. It had added interest as I can't recall reading other books set in Nigeria and I look forward to more books by Ms Brathwaite.

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