From the first few paragraphs, the book instantly catches your attention. I don’t think it is a spoiler to say that our narrator’s sister,is indeed a serial killer. The book opens with Ayoola calling Korede for help in cleaning up a mess — a bloody mess. They are sisters living in Lagos, Nigeria. Our narrator is Korede, she is ordinary looking, fastidious and methodical. A hard worker. She works as a nurse and is efficient but unfriendly. In fact, her only confidante is a patient who is in a coma. Ayoola, on the other hand, is beautiful, confident and manipulative. She seemingly does nothing but collect boyfriends – and then eventually kill them. Korede’s bond with her sister leaves her with no choice but to clean up her messes, both literal and metaphorical. Until Ayoola sets her sights on a doctor in Korede’s hospital — who Korede may be in love with.
It is a bit weird to say, since the subject is so dark, that the book was really quite enjoyable, and a quick read. It is on the short side, page count wise, but aside from that, it is very readable and has its thrills. This is not to say that it was all easy breezy. There was an attempt to plumb the origins of Ayoola’s (and Korede’s lesser) dysfunctions, looking into their shared family trauma in particular, and Nigeria’s patriarchal society in general.
I also enjoyed the opportunity to read about a setting that isn’t usually used in fiction. I have not had the opportunity to travel a whole lot outside my country and reading books set in far away (for me) places satiates that itch a bit for me. It was rural Ireland in the last book I read ( The Searcher by Tana French) and now, Lagos, Nigeria.
The ending was… a choice. But I guess, that was the only choice that Korede thought she could make.