My Sister, The Serial Killer: Thriller with a light sprinkling of comedy – Favour Olorunfemi

(Fresh off the announcement of her “Crime & Thriller Book of the Year award” at the British Book Awards, Ms. Olorunfemi takes a stab at Oyinkan Braithwaite’s paean to a serial killer.)

My Sister, The Serial Killer is a thriller with a light sprinkling of comedy written by Oyinkansola Braithwaite. The book is a work of fiction and it has a total of 223 pages. It was published in the year 2017 and the story is set in Lagos, Nigeria.

The writer uses the first person narrative point of view and she writes in such a way that each chapter has a title/theme which I personally loved. The language used is also very simple and the plot is not in any way complex, it is easy for readers to ride along with the writer even though we know there are secrets to be unraveled.

 The story revolves around two sisters (Korede and Ayoola) who have completely different character traits, personality and appearance. Like night and day, their personalities never meet. Korede is a nurse while Ayoola is a fashion enthusiast and designer. Like the title must have hinted, one of them is a serial killer. Ayoola is in the habit of calling her older sister Korede, whenever she kills any of her boyfriends. So, it’s like a case of Ayoola kills and Korede cleans up the mess. However, things get messy when Ayoola begins to gradually develop a relationship with Tade, one of the doctors in the hospital Korede works in. Unknown to Ayoola, Korede is secretly in love with Tade. Korede tries to do all she can to ensure Tade doesn’t end up like Ayoola’s exes but will there be more killings?

What would you do if your loved one calls and tells you that they’ve killed someone… again. Would you help dispose of the body? Or turn them in? I don’t know what I will do, but I’m sure I’ll get caught while trying to dispose of the body. Personally, I found the book very enjoyable, apart from the fact that the title caught my attention, the first chapter for me was very engaging (at least enough to deprive myself of 1hour 30 minutes of sleep), so it didn’t take long for it to grab my full attention.

Naturally, one would expect that it’s the one who commits an offense or in this case murder that will be left with a guilty conscience but that’s not the case. Korede is left to bear the burden of the consequences of Ayoola’s actions. She goes through enough disorder for her to feed some to Ayoola, that’s if at all she cares. For someone who’s killed a number of people, Ayoola lives an extremely peaceful and guilt free life, like one who’s memory has been wiped out. According to Ayoola ‘only the guilty go to jail’. This excerpt from the book shows how much Korede is haunted.

Every time I close my eyes I see a dead man. I wonder what it would be like to see nothing again.

Ayoola strikes me as a beautiful face with trouble. The kind of trouble that’s so ugly that it didn’t take time for me to forget how pretty she was. Besides, it seemed to me like not all of the  killings were self-defense, like there was something she wasn’t saying. More so, if it was actually self-defense, would there be a need to dispose of the body? Korede on the other hand reminds me so much of Kambili in Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus, who’s calm, gentle, intelligent and observant. Unlike her sister, Korede is gentle, not as pretty like her younger sister, whom she describes as a ‘voodoo figurine’ and Ayoola a ‘Bratz doll’ and like almost every older sibling in the African society, she’s expected to look after her sister and doesn’t she? She’s blamed when anything unpleasant happens to her sister and of course she’s always available to take care of her sister’s mess.

One thing I didn’t find satisfying is the ending. It was a shock for me. I’ll say it’s the kind of story you’re supposed to carry on with in your imagination.  I also felt like enough time wasn’t taken to develop the plot in-depth, to me there were still stones unturned by the time the book ended.

Aside from that, the book is a good read for me and I’ll recommend it.. Virtually anyone can read it, especially if you have no idea the number of murders one must commit before they can be termed a SERIAL KILLER. I’ll rate this book a 4, yes. Just because the ending still shocks me.

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(OLORUNFEMI FAVOUR is a budding writer. You can reach her at her Instagram handle @Just.ava_)

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