Fiction: Crime & Thriller Book of the Year

Winner - My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer

Oyinkan Braithwaite

Atlantic Books

What could have been treated as a niche book was championed by Atlantic Books—and loved by the British Book Awards judges. “Funny”, “shocking”, “fascinating”, “fresh” were some of the terms which show how captivated they were by Oyinkan Braithwaite’s début.

The comic writing and new approach to the crime and thriller genre ensured her first novel stood out in a crowded market. With a fascinating protagonist who is a brazen murderer but never gets caught, and no “whodunit” element, it is the story of one sister blindly protecting another because, as the tagline reads, “blood is thicker than water”.

The judges felt these were just some of the ways that the book expanded the horizons of crime fiction. An impressive marketing push from Atlantic helped to garner the book support from the Richard & Judy Book Club and it was a Waterstones Book of the Month. The paperback sold especially well, with a sweep of supermarket spots. “For an indie publisher to get this wind in its sails and chase success is impressive,” commented one of the judges for this category. This first novel by a Nigerian writer has become a global success; rights were sold in 32 languages.

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