I heard about the author from a post on a writers group and d l a sample of My Sister, the Serial Killer I was hooked from the outset and bought the book Oyinkan Braithwaite OB has subverted and refashioned crime and produced a near perfect noir except for a couple of important things and I will come to those later but they should not stop you from getting a copy pronto, taking the phone off the hook as people used to say and refusing to speak to anyone unless the house is burning down Yes, it is that good.The voice of the book is Korede s, elder sister to Ayoola, the former a hospital nurse, tall, angular and not pretty as she tells us , the latter an exquisitely beautiful wild child, utterly devastating, self centred and lacking any right wrong moral sense There is a mother but the father is ten years dead, though he looms back into Korede s present he was a domestic tyrant of absolutely the worst kind.I don t do spoilers but it suffices that the title announces the novel for what it is, but how it unfolds shows the young author to be a very bright star in the sky The chapters are many and short, some a single paragraph, a page, max four we should call them scenes Each is headed by a word, usually one word, which signals the intent of the scene.The story has two locations home for the family, a compound in Lagos in a large house, and the hospital where Korede works and where she moons and swoons over a handsome doctor who barely acknowledges her OB s writing has that wonderful thing where I felt transported to this part of West Africa When Ayoola waltzes in one day at her sister s place of work to Take you to lunch no, it is a kind of spying , the handsome doctor sees the sister and the amorous fireworks start Korede also has a confessor, a patient in a coma whom she visits, sits with and pours out her sister s doings Of course, there is a consequence to this that you can probably guess.This is also a book with Nigerian culture stitched into it People routinely, it seems tell lies, use astonishing verbal and mental juggling to turn black into white and guilt into innocence, the dexterity and virtuosity of which makes Donald Trump look like a beginner and corruption is everywhere Also the marriage plotting and scheming of the sisters mother is not a million miles from Jewish mothers in NYC There is a fearsome patriarchy and where women are treated badly make that very badly There are Nigerian words, some in the alphabet I am using, others in a strange mix of letters with accent markings that are probably Yoruba and I would have liked an end of book glossary there is appreciable cooking and, well, I wanted to know what they were eating.It is a terrific read OB suffered terrible writer s block see article, The Guardian, 15 Jan and wrote MSTSK in a kind of desperation hey girl, feel your pain, we ve all been there.But I cannot give the fifth star, because of the ending It is unsatisfying, ambiguous and for such a gifted young writer a bit lazy Her editors should have known better, but perhaps they were thinking of a sequel please, no the story does not have the legs for it.Now buy it Wow Where do I even start Firstly, the story, coupled with the setting, alongside the characters, all resonate at a level only a fellow Nigerian would understand Besides all that, the plot itself is unique, the prose is crisp and evocative the characters, multilayered Then there s that dry sardonic humour that Braithwaite sprinkles throughout the story that I think elevated the story perfectly.Additionally, what Braithwaite does with the titular characters the ditzy yet extremely manipulative serial killer Ayoola, and her long suffering, perpetually angsty sister Korede, is nothing short of magical Dark comedy at its best, if you asked me. A crime novel with short, punchy chapters, and a garishly neon cover that is so, Come on, I DARE you to read me You re not supposed to like or take the side of a serial killer and by God, I didn t Ayoola is beautiful, seems to be bl se about everything, and a psychopathic killer She gets her sister, Korede, to clean up after her I m torn between Ayoola playing a game or just showing her true nature I don t think she s that intelligent to play a game, but I could be wrong Korede s only therapy comes in the form of a dying man in a coma Well, he s not going to tell anyone, is he This would be a fantastic tale for a book club to discuss It seems a simplistic story, however it is not It is chock full of questions Some of which are the roles women play in Nigeria the roles of older and younger sisters is anyone in this book real why is Ayoola killing men is blood thicker than water, is that why Korede backs her sister completely Sharp, shocking, intelligent, and a definite page turner. I enjoyed this book, most of which I read in an afternoon There s no who done it here the sister is indeed a serial killer, so no spoiler alert required The surprise is that this is a family story with fully drawn characters who have some issues, shall we say The author ensures that you care about them.The topics are pretty serious but overall, this is an entertaining story, well written I definitely recommend it I am in two minds about this novel, which tells the story of two sisters, one of whom has a murdering streak, whose boyfriends never seem to survive very long The story begins as the sisters clean up after the murder of Femi, the latest in a string of doomed boyfriends Korede, the older sister, is fed up of always coming second to Ayoola, her younger sibling, and when the doctor Korede likes shows an interest in Ayoola too, things take a sinister turn.I thought this was just a bit of pulp fiction to pass a rainy afternoon to be honest The story is ok, but a bit daft I didn t find it hilarious, as other reviewers have , but when I was telling the plot line to my husband I realised it s not the plot that s the problem, it s the writing I just didn t find anything in the writing that I liked it was all a bit workaday, really I didn t root for Korede as I didn t feel her character was that well fleshed our, really I wouldn t have longlisted it for the Women s Prize, and if it is shortlisted, I shall eat my hat.Having said that, it would pass an afternoon. The blurb of this book reads as a dream Comic, tense, about serial killer sisters and lets face it serial killers are so hot right now.I dont remember it being particularly funny, certainly not laugh out loud The tension was minimal and there are basically no murders in the pages.The near lack of action leads you building up to the last pages thinking its all happening now, its all coming to a head and the action is about to happen when it just ends It just bloody ends Its not a cliffhanger its not a twist, theres no resolution it just stops I wouldnt accept such a mild ending at the end of an episode of Coronation Street.It s built to be a corker and was in all just disappointing Honestly one of the hardest and most infuriating books I ve had the misfortune of reading.There is a distinct lack of plot, flow and dialogue in this book that it feels like a first draft than an actual complete body of work.The characters are not developed nor is the story which meant that I struggled to care about the characters, story and the book in general I really just finished reading it because I kept thinking surely it has to get better I really wanted to like this book but sadly, it s a strong no from me I would absolutely not recommend. Starts off well then goes to the gutters I bought this book on the strength of the sample first few pages After that it loses its buoyancy and becomes something flimsy.I understand why it s been embraced by the West seeing as it s set in Lagos Because frankly this is not a great book.It mocks the African in every way possible, physically calling Korede ugly her mouth akin to a gorilla her sister beautiful with a light skin whiles hers is like a Brazil nut.Morally lacking, cold crooked father and corrupt public officials.The African is expected to be dehumanised and the acceptable portrayal is either as wicked and ugly or docile and helpless.She does a good job of it And the powers that be are lapping it up and spreading it far Realizing that her beautiful, beloved younger sister has murdered yet another boyfriend, an embittered Nigerian woman works to direct suspicion away from the family, until a handsome doctor she fancies asks for her sister s number My Sister the Serial Killer is a hoot, a scream, a raucous romp through the fetid undergrowth of family loyalties and domestic violence, as well as a cutting exploration of gender relations in Nigeria, a scathing examination of the effects of neoliberalism and westernisation via social media, the modern cult of the self and the selfie, and an hilarious thriller to boot It s essentially a comedy, so be prepared for plenty of belly laughs and involuntary shudders, but it s also a romance, as well as all of the above I usually buy one or two books from the Booker Prize longlist soon after it s announced, and the result can be mixed, but My Sister the Serial Killer, having already been nominated for this year s Women s Prize for Fiction, seemed like a sure bet And it is.We begin in the middle of the action the dowdy nurse, Korede, is called in the middle of the night by her glamorous airhead sister Ayoola, to clean up another of her messes She s killed her boyfriend, Femi, in self defence, which makes him number three Because Korede, as well as being a nurse, has become a dab hand at crime scene cleaning and evidence concealment And what can she do, Ayoola is her sister, family s important, right But how far can you take family loyalty The only person Korede can talk to about all of this is Muhtar, a patient in a coma There s also ubiquitous police corruption, an overbearing and status obsessed mother, and a dark history surrounding the memory of Korede and Ayoola s father, dead now for a decade And even when Ayoola s most recent mess is cleaned up, and Femi s corpse has been dispatched to feed the fish beneath the third mainland bridge, Korede can t get him out of her head she begins obsessively visiting his blog, and is particularly impressed by his dreadful poetry.And there s somebody else Korede can t get out of her head either Tade, a dishy doctor from St Peter s, the hospital where she works, a man with a voice like honeyed heroin, but who, regrettably, turns out to be just the same as all other men When Ayoola turns up at St Peter s, ostensibly for an unplanned lunch date with her sister, and then ruthlessly attaches herself to Tade like a charming but psychotic limpet, things take a further twist Korede has to keep them apart, but she can t, and her mother isn t helping, hearing wedding bells and associated social climbing from the get go As Ayoola plays hard to get, ghosting Tade, and he turns into a lovesick wreck, we begin to sense that this might not end well.Ayoola seems almost a cartoon character at first, albeit a vivid and absolutely infuriating one, who just jumps off the page at you just what you want from a not quite comedy villain , but then we learn that no, she has a flourishing online fashion design business, and she s funded it all through her popular YouTube channel, there s something she can do after all, other than dispatching tiresome lovers and then calling her sister, demanding she come and help cover it all up But when a married man turns up at the family home to take Ayoola to Dubai, we learn that the funding has actually come from elsewhere What is Korede to do Does family always come first What about her, what about love Read on to find out Smashing stuff, four stars.