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Helping Out Family Is Taken to Extremes in ‘My Sister, the Serial Killer’ (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

It’s not that Ayoola meant to kill quite so many men. She’s not a monster, she’d insist. Things just have a way of getting out of hand. Frankly, it would be cruel to blame her. Maybe you’re the monster?

Ayoola — lovely, dopey, incorrigibly murderous — is the chaos at the heart of “My Sister, the Serial Killer,” a much-anticipated first novel from the Nigerian writer Oyinkan Braithwaite. It’s Lagos noir — pulpy, peppery and sinister, served up in a comic deadpan courtesy of the narrator, Ayoola’s horrified sister Korede.

Korede, a nurse, is as unprepossessing as her sister is beautiful, and as loyal as they come. She’s always on hand to discreetly dispose of a body or to help concoct an alibi — even as she’s baffled by her sister’s motives. Ayoola claims the murders are in self-defense, but she never seems hurt or even terribly rattled. (And why is she wandering around with a nine-inch knife, anyway?)

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