I finally got round to reading the debut novel by Imran Mahmood, You Don’t Know Me a few weeks ago. I’m sharing my thoughts on my blog today.
A young man stands accused of murder. The evidence is overwhelming.
But at his trial, this man tells an extraordinary story.
It is about the woman he loves, who got into terrible trouble. It’s about how he risked everything to save her.
He swears he’s innocent. But in the end, all that matters is this: do you believe him?
I’ve been meaning to get round to reading You Don’t Know Me, Imran Mahmood’s debut novel, for some time now, and I’m so pleased I’ve finally read it. This is a really unique thriller, and I haven’t read anything quite like it. It’s a novel that really made me think as I was reading it, and I think it would be great to see this adapted as a play, like Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution.
The novel is told from one perspective, a young man who has been accused of murder. He is defending himself in court, and it is now up to him entirely to convince the jury of his innocence. When I first started reading, I wondered just how he was going to be able to pull this off, especially with no one defending him. He gives a very powerful speech, and it makes for absolutely gripping reading as he tells his side of the story. It is also a story that feels very real as well.
The young man accused really is the star of the show here. It was amazing how other characters, who formed part of his defence, came to life in his speech, and I could picture them clearly in my mind. The story he told is really intriguing, and it paints a clear picture of gang life in London and how difficult it can be to get out of gangs.
All the time, I was wondering how this young man was going to present evidence to ensure a not guilty verdict. He has set himself an almost impossible challenge, and you can see from the start that the odds clearly aren’t in his favour. I wanted to know what had really gone on. His defence is very powerful. I have no doubt that if I was sitting on the jury that I would be drawn in by his story. Although he has got himself involved in a tricky situation with local gangs, you can see that he does not want to be involved at all. But the reason he does get involved is to protect his family and the people he loves.
I was rooting for him all the way through. I was turning the pages faster and faster as the final parts of his story began to unfold.
You Don’t Know Me is very well plotted and so, so clever. There may be a few readers who might have different opinions, especially when it comes to the ending, but I absolutely loved it. It’s one of those books you’ll want to discuss with someone once you read it. I highly recommend it!
Publication date: 19th April 2018
Print length: 400 pages
You Don’t Know Me is available to buy: