FICTION//My Sister, the Serial Killer- Oyinkan Braithwaite

Korede’s sister Ayoola is beautiful. Men love her, their mother dotes on her… and she’s murdered three men. As a dutiful sister, Korede has helped in the aftermath of these crimes- but her patience with Ayoola begins to wear thin when her family life dangerously entwines itself with her workplace and Korede must make a choice: protect her sister, or the man she is in love with?

Although I’ve seen this novel compared to Killing Eve, it actually reminded me more of a Japanese novel I read a few years ago, Out by Natsuo Kirino. Both have the same dark humour and grimly determined women righting the wrongs of men through brutal murder. Both novels explore the relationships of women in a society set up to benefit men at their expense.

Here, the relationship between the sisters is a close one, despite Korede’s exasperation with Ayoola, and her sense of never living up their mother’s expectations. Despite it all, they have each other’s backs, sometimes with dire consequences for the men around them. The only man to escape unscathed- and even that is debatable- is the long-term coma patient Korede confesses her crimes to. Ultimately, this is a novel about women and the way they respond to a culture stacked against them. I wanted more- but for a first novel, it’s promising.

This is a bleakly funny and poignant novel by a writer I’ll be interested to read in the future.

FORMAT: hardback, borrowed from the library

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