Sunday, 28 April 2019

My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

           Korede and Ayoola are sisters in Lagos, Nigeria:  Korede is clever, shrewd, a highly-respected career nurse – and plain.  Ayoola is tiny, curvaceous, shallow – and beautiful.  She also has a predilection for murdering her boyfriends, then sending out a distress call to Korede to help her avoid the consequences of her wildly impetuous actions.  And to dispose of the bodies.
            Korede dreads phone calls from her sister even worse than the sick envy she feels at Ayoola’s effortless ability to attract whomever she pleases;  consequently she is horrified when Ayoola visits her one day at the hospital where she works – ‘we can go to lunch at that new place round the corner.  Won’t that be fun!’ – and immediately draws the eye of Doctor Tade.
            Doctore Tade:  noble, kind, handsome.  Everything a Doctor should be, and Korede’s secret love.  Why, oh why could he never look at her in that gobsmacked way at his first sight of Ayoola?  OK, Korede is nearly six feet tall and all angles, but still ……..  life is cruel and will be even more so if he follows his lust struck impulses and asks Ayoola on a date:  Korede must nip this ‘romance’ in the bud before it even starts.
            But how?
            Korede’s best efforts to discourage contact come to nothing, for Ayoola is quite taken with Doctor Tade;  it’s fun to have a highly educated man completely smitten with her, and even more so when he buys her an engagement ring (admittedly rather small, under three carats;  she doesn’t usually accept anything less, but perhaps this time she’ll make an exception) but Korede knows only too well what will happen to Doctor Tade if he pursues his fatal romance with Ayoola:  there will be fatal consequences!
            Korede’s only confidante during these trying times is a coma patient in the hospital whom she visits to pour out all her worries, including Ayoola’s previous murders, Korede’s infatuation with Doctor Tade, even her preference for a certain type of popcorn, and their childhood with their brutal father.  Well, the coma patient is a perfect audience – he can’t see, speak or hear - he’s the three wise monkeys rolled into one!  Until, much to everyone’s shock and surprise, he wakes up one day – and wishes to speak to Korede.
            Ms Braithwaite’s debut novel is smart, funny - and spine-chilling, exactly as a good thriller should be.  Each sister has choices, as we all do;  it’s very satisfying to see what they decide.  FIVE STARS.   

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