My Sister, the Serial Killer

By Oyinkan Braithwaite,

Book cover of My Sister, the Serial Killer

Book description

Sunday Times bestseller and The Times #1 bestseller

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019
Winner of the 2019 LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller
Capital Crime Debut Author of the Year 2019

'A literary sensation'

'A bombshell of a…

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Why read it?

8 authors picked My Sister, the Serial Killer as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The title and all the glowing reviews made me pick this book up, but the sisters Korene and Ayoola kept me reading. This book actually made me wonder exactly how far I’d go for one of my sisters. It also made me think about how much many women give up to be the caretakers (as Korene the nurse is), especially of the men in our lives. Korene not only figuratively has to clean up after her little sister, she has to literally don plastic gloves and grab the bleach. Is it horrible to think a little Ayoola-style “self-defense” would make…

From Kelly's list on celebrating sisterhood through time.

This book is stunning because it’s so original. The narrator is the sister of a woman who regularly falls for the wrong man and then kills him when she finds out. Not only that, but she expects her sister to help her clean up the murder scene. It’s superficially unbelievable, but Braithwaite’s brilliance makes it entirely believable because of the family’s background and the suffocatingly close bond between the two sisters. True, the Nigerian police miss a few points that a US police detective would pick up, but that’s how they operate. Some great thrillers are coming out of Nigeria…

From Michael's list on African noir thrillers.

How far would you go to protect a family member? Who will take the blame for repeated murders? Do we have a psychological Siamese twin in our lives? My Sister, the Serial Killer blends murder with the diverse and fascinating Nigerian culture. A layered story of need, family loyalty, and abuse.

From Felicia's list on thrillers with a Gothic theme.

Of all family relationships, I am particularly intrigued by the bond between sisters—think: Little Women, Sense and Sensibility, The Vanishing Half. In Braithwaite’s debut novel, older and more practical sister Korede is hopelessly devoted to younger and more impetuous sister Ayoola. This familiar family dynamic is given a fresh and fabulous take when it turns out Ayoola’s boyfriends keep ending up dead, leaving Korede to clean up the mess. Sister melodrama and serial murder—what could be more fun, right?

I read Nigerian writer Braithwaite’s slim, fast-paced debut in a single day. This is the story of two women, here, sisters. One beautiful, charming, sensual, self-absorbed, and sociopathic—the one actually doing the stabbing—and the other, mousey, responsible, loyal to a fault—the one cleaning everything up. As moral grounds become murkier we are left to wonder, which is worse? 

From Madeline's list on in protest of women’s “likability”.

The majority of books I read involve characters with a relatable, and sometimes even predictable, arc of growth and change. As much as I love variations on this theme, imagine my delight to stumble across something completely different. Korede is a nurse in Lagos whose sister Ayoola may just be a serial killer. The book opens with a phone call from Ayoola: Could Korede please come help her clear away the body of Ayoola’s suddenly dead boyfriend? Korede’s responses to phone calls like this are a continuously surprising delight. And though the premise of this book is hilarious and absurd,…

I’m one of four sisters so stories about sisterhood have a special place on my bookshelf. Set in Lagos, Nigeria, My Sister, the Serial Killer takes the perspective of Korede: a nurse and typical firstborn, responsible and self-sacrificing. Korede is accustomed to cleaning up the messes of her glamorous, egotistical younger sister, Ayoola. These messes include the murders of several ex-boyfriends. After Ayoola sets her sights on Korede’s long-term crush, a doctor at the hospital where she works, Korede must decide where her loyalties lie. Despite all the dead bodies, it’s a darkly hilarious read, full of insights about desire,…

From Laura's list on badly behaved women.

Murder and mayhem in Africa, but turned on its head. This novel is set in Nigeria, and who could argue with the mad charm of traffic jams, family dynamics, a young woman who simply can’t help killing the men in her life, and her long-suffering sister who keeps helping her clean up the mess? Every page vibrates with wackiness and warmth, while the blood keeps flowing. Gravity-defying because it should be grim but you find yourself chuckling before the first corpse is cold.

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