What would you do if Villanelle was your sister? Well, that’s Korede’s reality. In her darkly funny first novel, Oyinkan Braithwaite reimagines sibling relationships in this serial-killer thriller where sisterly love means covering up a murder every now and again. That is until Korede’s sister sets her bloody sights on the man she’s in love with.
Set in Lagos, Nigeria, Korede and Ayoola are Austin-worthy opposites. Korede, the hard working nurse who no one glances twice at is overshadowed by her younger, incredibly beautiful influencer-come-fashion-designer sister. But the two are set apart by more than just looks and superficial success. Ayoola’s murderous tendencies are motiveless, random and remorseless. More concerned with snapchat than her latest boyfriend’s pulse (or lack thereof) Korede if left to pick up the pieces, torn between her responsibility to her sister and the truth. Moral dilemma much?
Braithwaite’s fast-paced narrative, peppered with humour and observations of modern day life in Lagos, is what makes the novel such a breeze. More pulp fiction than true crime, the twists and turns of the plot (including whether Ayoola’s next date will turn into a crime scene) make the book a funny if not slightly frivolous read.
My Sister, The Serial Killer, 2018. Atlantic Books.