My Sister, the 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 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…
When Korede receives a distress call from younger sister, Ayoola, she knows instantly what awaits her at the other end of the phone. A dead body, a bloody knife and her sister claiming it was self-defence. But this is the third man her sister has murdered, the third death Korede has concealed and the third time she has protected her. When she arrives, she slips on some gloves, wraps the body up and cleans every spot of blood from the floor, removing all evidence of the sudden grim conclusion to the man’s life, saving her sister from her own grim fate.
With the man declared missing by the police, Ayo and Korede are off the hook but the reality of what has occurred is weighing on Korede’s mind. Before, despite two horrendous deaths, she was able to justify her sister’s action, she was blinded in a way by her loyalty and love. But now, she is a serial killer. And her actions – the brutal truth – have Korede questioning everything.
As head nurse at a local hospital, Korede is accustomed to the trials and tribulations of everyday life on the ward. When she isn’t caring for her patients, she spends time with Doctor Tade, a man she is swiftly falling in love with. She is good at her job, she faces shocks and surprises in a calm and collected manner. But nothing can prepare her for Ayo turning up at the hospital and the spark she senses between her and Tade. All of a sudden the man she loves is in danger. His could very well be the next body she has to dispose of, it could his blood she has to mop up. Korede is faced with a choice: sacrifice her sister for the man she loves or sacrifice the man she loves for her sister.
This book is an absolute gem. The dry humour and snappy, sharp prose makes it a dream to read. I loved the setting of Lagos. I loved the dynamic between the two sisters, it’s a strange and wonderful relationship and the author reveals all its complexities with startling observations and dark wit. Korede is dedicated to her sister, she loves her, she protects her but even she isn’t privy to all her sister’s secrets. She is and always has been the overlooked one, locked in Ayo’s shadow. The least loved by their mother, the least liked by friends. Ayo is beautiful, outgoing and Korede is awkward and quiet. They are opposites. Ayo’s psyche is as dark and as twisted as a knot and Korede is trying to help her sister, to unravel that knot and understand her. It makes for a fascinating journey. This is such a powerful read. I loved it and fully recommend.
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About the Author
Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. She has had short stories published in anthologies and has also self-published work.
In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top ten spoken word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam.
In 2016, she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.