You Don't Know Me
An unnamed defendant stands accused of murder. Just before the Closing Speeches, the young man sacks his lawyer, and decides to give his own defence speech.He tells us that his barrister told him to leave some things out. Sometimes, the truth can be too difficult to explain, or believe. But he thinks that if he's going to go down for life, he might as well go down telling the truth.There are eight pieces of evidence against him. As he talks us through them one by one, his life is in our hands. We, the reader - member of the jury - must keep an open mind till we hear the end of his story. His defence raises many questions... but at the end of the speeches, only one matters: Did he do it?

You Don't Know Me Details

TitleYou Don't Know Me
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 4th, 2017
PublisherMichael Joseph
ISBN0718184254
ISBN-139780718184254
Number of pages400 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

You Don't Know Me Review

  • Gary
    March 26, 2017
    I had no previous knowledge of either the author or the book itself but having read the description while browsing on Net Galley felt compelled to know more.The book features an unnamed defendant standing accused of murder, having sacked his lawyer just before the Closing Speeches. He decides to defend himself and tell all the truth even if it may harm his defence. There are eight pieces of evidence against him and as he talks us through them one by one, his life is in our hands. We, the reader I had no previous knowledge of either the author or the book itself but having read the description while browsing on Net Galley felt compelled to know more.The book features an unnamed defendant standing accused of murder, having sacked his lawyer just before the Closing Speeches. He decides to defend himself and tell all the truth even if it may harm his defence. There are eight pieces of evidence against him and as he talks us through them one by one, his life is in our hands. We, the reader and the members of the jury must keep an open mind till we hear the end of his story. His defence raises many questions, but did he do it?This is a fascinating book that is very different to the style of books that are very popular at the moment. I enjoy the other books also but this book was an excellent debut novel by an author I am sure we will hear more of in the future. If you fancy reading something a little different then this is worth reading. A thought provoking book that is well written and keeps you guessing.I would like to thank Net Galley and Penguin UK for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Tracy Fenton
    February 27, 2017
    Once in a while you read a book that not only gets under your skin, but it leaves your breathless and gasping out loud. You Don’t Know Me is an incredible debut novel. Told entirely through Court Transcripts – a young man charged with murder sacks his lawyer and tells his defence story in his own voice to the jury over a period of ten days. Covering gang culture and social issues, our young narrator breathes life in his story and brings it vividly into the readers imagination. Keeping the reader Once in a while you read a book that not only gets under your skin, but it leaves your breathless and gasping out loud. You Don’t Know Me is an incredible debut novel. Told entirely through Court Transcripts – a young man charged with murder sacks his lawyer and tells his defence story in his own voice to the jury over a period of ten days. Covering gang culture and social issues, our young narrator breathes life in his story and brings it vividly into the readers imagination. Keeping the reader interested for over 400 pages highlights the skill of this author. A truly fascinating, enthralling , thought provoking book which will stay in my thoughts for a long time. My thanks to the publisher Michael Joseph and Netgalley for the ARC.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    February 15, 2017
    You Don't Know Me has an interesting premise well executed, a terrifically strong and authentic character voice and an intriguing and compelling story.Its a little early to write up a full review I'll be featuring this on the blog nearer to publication, but I loved it for its differences, the fact that the reader is the jury for this one and whilst I felt the ending was slightly weaker than the rest, overall this was an entirely gripping narrative that you just want to binge read to the end. Tha You Don't Know Me has an interesting premise well executed, a terrifically strong and authentic character voice and an intriguing and compelling story.Its a little early to write up a full review I'll be featuring this on the blog nearer to publication, but I loved it for its differences, the fact that the reader is the jury for this one and whilst I felt the ending was slightly weaker than the rest, overall this was an entirely gripping narrative that you just want to binge read to the end. That is in fact exactly what I did. Beautifully done. Clever. One to watch in June. In fact June is shaping up to be a top bookish month.
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  • Gillian McAllister
    March 26, 2017
    Perfection.
  • Richard
    March 14, 2017
    6/10What sounded like a really interesting prospect ended up being an above average legal thriller but not much more. I very rarely, if ever, request a title by an author I’ve never heard of or want to read but the premise of this hooked me so I took the plunge.I had in my mind this would be more like a cross examination rather than a closing statement. I was thinking more Keyser Soze chit chat than young gangster monologue. The fact that the story unfolds from one viewpoint sort of makes it fee 6/10What sounded like a really interesting prospect ended up being an above average legal thriller but not much more. I very rarely, if ever, request a title by an author I’ve never heard of or want to read but the premise of this hooked me so I took the plunge.I had in my mind this would be more like a cross examination rather than a closing statement. I was thinking more Keyser Soze chit chat than young gangster monologue. The fact that the story unfolds from one viewpoint sort of makes it feel more straight down the line rather than a dodgy narrator trying to convince you and letting you make up your own mind. Only at the 95% mark is the opposition allowed to throw suspicion on the story and I feel this was a missed opportunity. If it was the witness on the stand and you were left to decide after both lawyers had given their best then it would have been an awesome idea. This was still an interesting read about gang life in London and how some people don’t have the options to avoid it. But it felt a little lightweight. Never do you get the sense of danger for the main guy as you know, with it being in the past, that he comes out of it ok as he’s telling the story. I wasn’t overly convinced with the ending but I guess that was to allow you to throw suspicion on what was being said. One thing I was unsure of was why a judge would allow so much swearing in a closing statement. Little things.I’d be interested to hear other peoples viewpoints of the book as it might just be my let down that didn’t allow me to fully invest in this. I would read more from the author so it wasn’t a waste of time. I received a free copy from NetGalley
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  • Annie ~ The Misstery
    April 16, 2017
    Have you ever come across a book that you just knew you had to read as soon as possible? It didn’t matter that you didn’t know the author or hadn’t read any reviews… you just needed it. That’s what happened to me with You Don’t Know Me. One look at the blurb and I was sold.I admit I was scared I wouldn’t like this as much as I hoped, but it was quite the opposite, actually. This novel blew me away. And I’m perfectly aware that it won’t be a book for everyone (because of the ending, for starters) Have you ever come across a book that you just knew you had to read as soon as possible? It didn’t matter that you didn’t know the author or hadn’t read any reviews… you just needed it. That’s what happened to me with You Don’t Know Me. One look at the blurb and I was sold.I admit I was scared I wouldn’t like this as much as I hoped, but it was quite the opposite, actually. This novel blew me away. And I’m perfectly aware that it won’t be a book for everyone (because of the ending, for starters), but those are perhaps the most interesting ones. And I know it was the right book for me, as I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it for days.This is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It might be a legal thriller, but only on the surface. The whole book (well, except for a couple of chapters at the end) is told from the defendant’s perspective. We’re told that he has fired his lawyer and has decided to make his final speech all by himself. And what a speech! The book is violent, gritty and filled with plenty of wrong decisions. I was completely enchanted by his monologue.The story just flows. It is written in a very “informal” style, the way a man his age would talk in real life. And it kept me glued to the pages like no other. It’s impossible not to care for the main character (we don’t even learn his name). After all, he’s telling you his entire life. His story was sad and devastating at times, but it’s an excellent one and I’m so glad I was able to read it.As captivated I was by You Don’t Know Me, I couldn’t help but feel that the jury would be fed up with him. He talks for about ten days! And the story isn’t exactly straight-forward, as the guy surely likes to talk. Nevertheless, I thought it was endearing and I couldn’t put it down. I started it before going to bed one evening and as soon as I woke up the next morning, I read the rest in one sitting.If you want to read something completely unique… don’t look any further. And let’s discuss it afterwards!
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  • Sibel Hodge
    February 24, 2017
    I love books hat tell a story in an unusual way, and You Don't Know Me is masterfully told by a young man on trial for murder, giving his final closing speech to the jury. It tackles many very real social issues that are often glossed over or ignored, because if it's not happening to you, why should you care? It delves into gang culture in a realistic and relatable way (kudos to the author for his research!). And shows how you can never really know or judge a person unless you've walked in their I love books hat tell a story in an unusual way, and You Don't Know Me is masterfully told by a young man on trial for murder, giving his final closing speech to the jury. It tackles many very real social issues that are often glossed over or ignored, because if it's not happening to you, why should you care? It delves into gang culture in a realistic and relatable way (kudos to the author for his research!). And shows how you can never really know or judge a person unless you've walked in their shoes. Expertly and poignantly narrated and a compelling read. Did he do it? Only you can decide!
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  • Renee (itsbooktalk.com)
    April 25, 2017
    You can find all my reviews on www.itsbooktalk.comThe premise of this book really drew me in! The idea that someone would fire their lawyer before closing arguments in their murder trial and decide to give their own interested me. There are so many aspects of the criminal justice system that I have issues with that I thought a book about a defendant speaking out for themselves was something right up my alley.We are immediately introduced to the defendant who remains unnamed the entire book. I th You can find all my reviews on www.itsbooktalk.comThe premise of this book really drew me in! The idea that someone would fire their lawyer before closing arguments in their murder trial and decide to give their own interested me. There are so many aspects of the criminal justice system that I have issues with that I thought a book about a defendant speaking out for themselves was something right up my alley.We are immediately introduced to the defendant who remains unnamed the entire book. I thought I'd have a problem with this because I worried I might not connect or be able to picture him in my head without a name but that really wasn't the case at all. His voice and personality immediately struck me as realistic and pulled me into his story. He has decided he wants to tell the whole truth and nothing but...this is against the advice of his lawyer who seems to believe the truth will hurt his case. The defendant lays out the 8 key pieces of evidence against him and proceeds to go over each one explaining, in great detail and backstory for many, the "truth" behind the supposed evidence. The reader gets to be a part of the jury...are his versions of the "truth" to be believed?As he begins detailing the pieces of evidence we begin to get a feel for his life and what led to his currently being charged with murder. What we hear includes racism, poverty, drugs, girlfriends, and quite a bit of dealings with gangs and the gang subculture. The defendant speaks using colloquial language and lots of urban street slang which on the one hand made him feel like an authentic character but on the other hand it started to make me wish I could hear from someone else. Which doesn't happen. The entire book is told in the first person and we only hear from the defendant. While initially I enjoyed this narrative structure, by about 35% into the story I felt myself becoming slightly annoyed with the constant, repetitive use of certain words like "innit" and the very detailed backstories started to bore me quite honestly. As the story went on, I found my mind wandering and I started skimming which is never a good sign.Overall, this story started off so strong for me but lost steam by the halfway point and I never regained my interest. And the ending....not at all what I expected...don't get me started on that! What I'll say is that the author took a great risk with this narrative structure and story which I appreciate and while it didn't work for me, I'm very much in the minority because there are many highly rated reviews on Goodreads. If you're looking for a uniquely told story you might want to give this a try.
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  • Ana
    March 31, 2017
    https://anaslair.wordpress.com/2017/0...You Don't Know Me was a curious, new experience that took me a while to get into but once I did I was hooked. The narrative style is unlike anything I have read, with so many colloquial expressions. Stuff like 'Blood, you coming to my yard, innit?' I don't know, I am making it up but yeah those words were all used in the book. I don't know if young black people talk like that in England but after I got used to it I was entranced.It got a bit repetitive, es https://anaslair.wordpress.com/2017/0...You Don't Know Me was a curious, new experience that took me a while to get into but once I did I was hooked. The narrative style is unlike anything I have read, with so many colloquial expressions. Stuff like 'Blood, you coming to my yard, innit?' I don't know, I am making it up but yeah those words were all used in the book. I don't know if young black people talk like that in England but after I got used to it I was entranced.It got a bit repetitive, especially with the defendant asking to jury to have patience because there is a lot he needs to tell but that is all part of the character. He was a really well-built one. This unnamed young man obviously doesn't have much education but he can stay stuff like She was never going to get over it, just like you never really get over a death. All that happens is that the sorrow gets older. It's like a light that gets fader and fader. One day after years have passed maybe the sorrow is too covered in dust to see properly see what it is but it is still there. It's just harder to see. He has a passion for cars and has made an honest living of them. He is not involved in a gang but people around him are and he is dragged into a plot that he didn't really choose.I couldn't help feeling sorry for the guy because (view spoiler)[it was so obvious he loved Kira way more than he loved him. (hide spoiler)] I am not sure how believable all that stuff is but that is part of the story - he is telling you his version of what happened and it is up to you to believe him or not.Still, there was a few things I am still not sure I can buy, starting with a 10-day closing speech. I don't have information on whether that is possible but it doesn't seem like it, does it? This book is thought-provoking and defies any prejudices the reader may have. It forces you not to stereotype this young man and really look at him as a person whose life is dependant on your / the jury's opinion on him. He tells you a story and, in the end, you decide if he lives or dies.It is a truly compelling book and I highly recommend it.Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Abby Slater- Fairbrother
    April 27, 2017
    For a long time, I have been screaming for more diversity in novels and more novels that actually represent a society I live in! Well Imran Mahmood, very much delivers with his debut novel! I am aware, as is the author, (See author’s note) that some people may accuse him of using stereotypes but I discredit this on the basis that the facts, out-there exist. They indicate exactly what is explained & expanded upon in the novel. I would urge any reader put off by any such comments to give it a For a long time, I have been screaming for more diversity in novels and more novels that actually represent a society I live in! Well Imran Mahmood, very much delivers with his debut novel! I am aware, as is the author, (See author’s note) that some people may accuse him of using stereotypes but I discredit this on the basis that the facts, out-there exist. They indicate exactly what is explained & expanded upon in the novel. I would urge any reader put off by any such comments to give it a go. Because I think the novel will more than surprise you with its emotional and intellectual depth.Imran Mahmood is a criminal Barrister and I have a daughter who has had a deep desire to be one and has for a very long time. My daughter often points out to me the law & justice are not about whether you did the crime or not. It is about what can be proved in court! This novel also details the currents legal system and that justice should be delivered equally. Juries are intended to be a group of the defendant’s peers, yet time & time again the system fails young men and in particular young men of the BAME community. When I read novels, to review, I keep notes. With this novel I had overall 57 points notes and a separate list of Jury notes. This novel will place you firmly in the place of a Jury member & it is one case you will NOT forget!The novel opens up as the defendant (we never learn his name) stands accused of shooting & murdering a young gang member named Jamil. This seems an open & shut case based upon the scientific & circumstantial evidence. However, right at the last moment the defendant sacks his lawyer and proceeds to give his closing speech which in turn, is his side of the story and the basis of this novel. There are 8 pieces of evidence stacked against the defendant and my initial thoughts were that he is guilty, that is, until he begins his speech. The speech is incredibly moving and I truly felt sorry for the narrator’s plight. He comes across as another young, vulnerable black male trying desperately to navigate his way through the gang culture, degradation & low prospects that north London & Camden town has to offer him. He talks of a childhood marred by domestic violence & a broken home, with little hope. But despite this, he is aware that he is surrounded by strong & caring women, whom he strives to protect.The novel has brilliant characterisation, all of the characters have huge detail and background story’s, of how or why they came to be involved in the case. There are many moving themes such as: loss of boyhood in adolescent due to growing up way too quickly, the degradation of drug addiction, the dangers/risks of knife crime and the harshness of criminal sentencing, is well & truly rammed home. Yet the characters are likeable and believable. The characters Curt for example reminded me of someone I personally grew up with. Who was heavily bullied, despite his huge size, yet refused categorically, to fight back! The gang mentality is a heavy theme within this novel the structure & hierarchy of gangs, yet there are moments, of great wisdom such as: “people don’t just want to pick fights that they can win, they want to pick fights that they can win easily” and my personal favourite “book people are weird, trust me”. This novel merges the old skool gangs with the modern technology assisted, legal savvy, youth of today! It depicts how one man, namely the defendant can be a magnet for trouble and be chewed up & spat out by the gang’s influence!I absolutely loved this novel. I found it to be raw, urban and edgy! Like nothing on the UK book market currently. It depicts life lessons and a different perspective. Essentially you can engage with a novel where people may not look like you or live like you, yet you fully embrace their character. If only we gave real people, this level of understanding in society! 5* Genius!*review and Q&A on my blog, for Blog tour 27/04/17 annebonnybookreviews.wordpress.com**I received an Ebook arc via Netgalley.
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  • Louise Wilson
    June 1, 2017
    An unnamed man stands accused of murder. Just before the closing speeches, the man sacks his lawyer and decide to give his own defence. We are told his barrister told him to leave some things out, but he thinks if he is going down for life, he might as well go down for telling the truth. With eight pieces of evidence against him, he takes us through piece one by one.We never learn the name of the young man who stands accused of murdering a gang member. The evidence seems to prove the young man's An unnamed man stands accused of murder. Just before the closing speeches, the man sacks his lawyer and decide to give his own defence. We are told his barrister told him to leave some things out, but he thinks if he is going down for life, he might as well go down for telling the truth. With eight pieces of evidence against him, he takes us through piece one by one.We never learn the name of the young man who stands accused of murdering a gang member. The evidence seems to prove the young man's guilt. However the more evidence we read the narrator got into my head and under my skin. The characters have all got a huge background that tells us exactly why they were involved in the case. As soon as I read the description for the book I knew I wanted to read it. With characters are believable I found this to be a thought provoking book and one that I will still be thinking about for a while after finishing it.I would like to thank NetGalley, Penguin UK - Michael Joseph and the author Imran Mahmood for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sheena Lambert
    March 21, 2017
    Wow. What a great read, brilliantly written. It's great to read something with a fresh and different style. Although nothing like The Help, it reminded me of it insofar as it is also written in a particular vernacular, which I thought I might find tiring as a non-Brit, but didn't due I think to the talent of the author. This is a book I would never have assumed I would enjoy, on a subject matter (London gangs and drug scene) I would usually run a mile from, but I am glad I took a chance to read Wow. What a great read, brilliantly written. It's great to read something with a fresh and different style. Although nothing like The Help, it reminded me of it insofar as it is also written in a particular vernacular, which I thought I might find tiring as a non-Brit, but didn't due I think to the talent of the author. This is a book I would never have assumed I would enjoy, on a subject matter (London gangs and drug scene) I would usually run a mile from, but I am glad I took a chance to read and review it. Although grittier than Tuesday Falling, I can imagine the same readership enjoying both books. I hope the (barrister) author uses his professional life to shape another novel soon - maybe on a completely different topic with totally different characters? I bet he would make a great job of it. 5 stars.
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  • Abbie
    May 25, 2017
    I like a good legal drama/thriller so You Don’t Know Me was always going to be a book I just had to read, and I was very intrigued by the premise of the reader being a member of the jury. On trial for murder, the unknown defendant sacks his barrister just before the closing speeches and closes the trial himself. His reason for doing this … his barrister had told him to omit the truth.I loved the unique way You Don’t Know Me is narrated. Mahmood uses the second person throughout so you really get I like a good legal drama/thriller so You Don’t Know Me was always going to be a book I just had to read, and I was very intrigued by the premise of the reader being a member of the jury. On trial for murder, the unknown defendant sacks his barrister just before the closing speeches and closes the trial himself. His reason for doing this … his barrister had told him to omit the truth.I loved the unique way You Don’t Know Me is narrated. Mahmood uses the second person throughout so you really get the sense of being a member of the jury as the main character addresses you throughout. Not an easy style to pull off but Mahmood manages it with ease. As the defendant describes his life on the periphery of gang culture, his voice comes across as authentic and genuine with the use of gang slang words. It is clear that Mahmood has undertaken a lot of research in order to make You Don’t Know Me believable. We do not find out the name or age of the defendant and omitting these details from the book is something I really liked. It makes the narrator enigmatic and intriguing, allowing your imagination to rule, and your ideas and feelings towards them constantly change as the story is unveiled. It also serves to ensure you are guided completely by the story that the narrator is telling and not caught up in any assumptions about the narrator that may occur if these details and descriptions were made available. You are completely reliant on the points of evidence the prosecution team have put forward and the defendant’s explanation for them. Of course, it also fits in perfectly with the title.Mahmood’s experience as a barrister shines through the pages and many questions are raised in respect of our current justice system. While the jury system represents a fair trial by your peers, can this ever truly be the case? As the narrator describes a life that I am aware of via the media but have no direct experience of, can a jury ever be truly representative of your peers? It therefore begs the question as to whether or not this is really a fair system. The manipulation of evidence by the prosecution and defence is also apparent throughout this book. The defendant fired his barrister as he wanted him to omit parts of the truth and yet we are told to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You Don’t Know Me also raises moral questions in relation to whether murder can ever be justified or understood. Mahmood has written a thought-provoking book as well as a great thriller.As the defendant’s story progresses you are pulled wholeheartedly into the tale and what the defendant states is the truth about the murder. As all the pieces finally appear to fall into place I was shocked and stunned by the eventual conclusion. But can we believe what we have been told?You Don’t Know Me is a great debut. Mahmood has written a thought-provoking page-turner that is unique, intriguing, believable and compelling. Guilty or innocent? What will your verdict be?A huge thank you to Imran Mahmood, Michael Joseph and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.
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  • Janel
    April 30, 2017
    3.5 stars - As soon I read the synopsis for this book, I knew it was one I had to read, I was so intrigued – a young man fires his lawyer to deliver his own closing speech as he stands trial for murder.I’m going to dive straight into the nitty gritty of my thoughts…What I really liked about the narration style is, you really feel like a member of the jury, like the defendant is pleading his case directly to you – you hold the power; the book, the defendant, needs you, and equally you want to mak 3.5 stars - As soon I read the synopsis for this book, I knew it was one I had to read, I was so intrigued – a young man fires his lawyer to deliver his own closing speech as he stands trial for murder.I’m going to dive straight into the nitty gritty of my thoughts…What I really liked about the narration style is, you really feel like a member of the jury, like the defendant is pleading his case directly to you – you hold the power; the book, the defendant, needs you, and equally you want to make the right decision so you pay close attention – you wouldn’t want to send an innocent man to prison, would you!?However, at certain times the narration, for me, lost its authenticity and I believe this is purely subjective. This story is set in London and features a lot of street slang, for want of a better way to phrase it, in my personal and professional life, I have a fair insight into the life some young people live in London, how they can get caught up in ‘gang-life’ even if they don’t intend to. The point I’m trying to make is, I didn’t need a translation for the lingo. So, for me when the 10-year-old “gang-members” were referred to as “Tinies”, I was thinking no no no, they refer to them as “Youngers”; and using “vine” to mean gossip, I’ve never heard that one before; you get my drift [I hope]. There were certain times when I thought the language and “code of the streets” was spot on but other times I thought to myself, not quite. Now I am well aware this is my own personal knowledge/experience at play here so while this was an issue for me, I doubt it’ll be a [big] issue for many other readers so don’t put too much weight on my opinion. Also, every area in London uses their own phrases so again, Mahmood is likely spot of but it’s just not matching up with my experience. No two people read the same book so while this, at times, made the story seem false to me, it may well not to others.I appreciate that the book was written in a colloquial style as if the defendant was talking to us, but at times, this felt really long winded and I don’t think the story needed to be quite so long. And I have to be honest, I didn’t like the ending, I like that it’s left up to the reader to decide but the conclusion of the defendant’s story just didn’t fit with all that came before, in my opinion. This is not the first time I’ve read a book using this colloquial/slang style narration and this one just didn’t stand out for me.This is a believable story and I particularly liked the relationships displayed of the defendant, his friend, family and “enemies” and I like that some of the defendant’s speech evoked real emotion in me.“I felt like a demolition building falling to the ground, where it did that collapsing thing. It was like my heart had collapsed from the inside.”There’s one young person in particular, that immediately came to mind when I read that line. Here, I think the book was really close to home, in the sense, that everyone who knows me well, knows it’s my calling in life to work with 16-25-year-old vulnerable young people so in a way I think this was more than just a book to me, it was the voice of some of the young people I have previously worked with. And I think that clouded my mind a little and stopped me loving this book the way I, perhaps, could have. I do believe, Mahmood did an excellent job portraying just how complicated things can be “on the streets” and unless you’re in that life, you’ll never really understand it.I realise I’m rambling, overall, I liked this book, I rated it 3.5 stars on Goodreads and if you haven’t read many books that push the boundaries on narration and structure, then I recommend this one. Did I love this book the way I thought I would? Sadly, no. Did the fantastic synopsis cause me to have exceedingly high expectations? Possibly. Would I read more from this author? Absolutely!*My thanks to the author (Imran Mahmood) and publisher (Michael Joseph) for granting me access to a digital copy of this book via Netgalley*
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  • Katy Noyes
    April 17, 2017
    Monologue-style narrative: do you believe him?My favourite film is Twelve Angry Men, a film set in a sweltering jury room with 12 jurors ascertaining the guilt (or otherwise) of a young defendant, overcoming prejudices along the way, sifting through one piece of evidence at a time.I would guess that it is also one of Imran Mahmood's favourite films also, as lines and scenes seem to be taken and placed in this new context. I liked this, from a hot American prejudiced 1950s white jury room to a 21 Monologue-style narrative: do you believe him?My favourite film is Twelve Angry Men, a film set in a sweltering jury room with 12 jurors ascertaining the guilt (or otherwise) of a young defendant, overcoming prejudices along the way, sifting through one piece of evidence at a time.I would guess that it is also one of Imran Mahmood's favourite films also, as lines and scenes seem to be taken and placed in this new context. I liked this, from a hot American prejudiced 1950s white jury room to a 21st-century multi-racial still-prejudiced courtroom.The unnamed defendant uses the span of the novel for his closing speech, directed at the judge and jury. He declares he is innocent of the murder with which has has been accused, and goes through the prosecution evidence piece by piece.He weaves a long story, involving friends, a girlfriend, family, gangs - it did feel as though we weren't coming closer to the scenes in which the 'murder' was going to take place, taking routes of context and convolution. And of course, it's a monologue - apart from one short speech by the prosecutor near the end - which means we have a potentially unreliable narrator, always an interesting device. Do you believe him? Is he a Keyser Soze or a genuine innocentI found the story itself quite entertaining to follow, though dark (involving prostitution, drugs, violence), and did want to know how the story panned out. The conclusion is a slight disappointment as the author doesn't give us the closure I certainly wanted, but it's a nicely spun tale with a different spin on narration that I thought worked well, on the whole. The narrator talks to his 'listeners' and reminds us of where he is, he feels like a fully-formed character. One for young adult readers or older, quite a quick read.With thanks to Netgalley for the advance review copy.
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  • Clare
    May 25, 2017
    With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.You don't know Me is Imran Mahmood's debut book. When I read that Imran was a barrister I had to read this. The plot line ingenious, a defendant is accused of murder. The defendant is not guilty, but the background to the murder is so outlandish his barrister advises him the jury will not believe him. On the final day he sacks his defence barrister and gives his own closing speech. The reader become With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.You don't know Me is Imran Mahmood's debut book. When I read that Imran was a barrister I had to read this. The plot line ingenious, a defendant is accused of murder. The defendant is not guilty, but the background to the murder is so outlandish his barrister advises him the jury will not believe him. On the final day he sacks his defence barrister and gives his own closing speech. The reader becomes the jury, and you have to decide if his guilty or not.The closing speech is shown from court transcripts. The reader is never given the defendants name but we know he is a 21 year old black boy who lives in deprived estate in London. Although the boy is not educated he has firm grasp of the evidence against him. He uses street slang but is able to defend the points the prosecution used against him. The defendant is not in a gang and sells luxury cars. His girlfriend Kira left home at 15 and her only relative was her brother Spooks who in prison.I loved this book, I had to find out what happened the night of the murder. It was easy reading with short chapters to tempt you in to reading just one more chapter. I have only given this book 4 stars because of the street slang. This is a pet peeve of mine, I know this how the kids on inner city estates speak but they live in England not the USA. Also the author is British born to Pakistani parents, so to write a book peppered with phrases like innit, you get me, and five o was a bit cringy.
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  • Busy Bees
    April 1, 2017
    Star Rating - ***The day before closing speeches in a lengthy trial the defendant sacks his lawyer and decides that he will provide his own closing speech. The boy with no name decides that he has a better chance at a fair trial if we the jury know the truth and the only way for us to know that is to start back at the very beginning. As the reader we are also a member of the jury reviewing the 5 pieces of evidence against the boy in a large murder case. Hearing his side of the story having not t Star Rating - ***The day before closing speeches in a lengthy trial the defendant sacks his lawyer and decides that he will provide his own closing speech. The boy with no name decides that he has a better chance at a fair trial if we the jury know the truth and the only way for us to know that is to start back at the very beginning. As the reader we are also a member of the jury reviewing the 5 pieces of evidence against the boy in a large murder case. Hearing his side of the story having not taken the stand himself to be questioned leaves us to decide did he really do what he is being accused of?When I read the synopsis of this story I was really excited at the premise. Having watched loads of shows with a similar theme I couldn't wait to get stuck into this. Unfortunately though this book just wasn't for me. It wasn't bad but I just didn't click with it. I found the story being told from the beginning slightly tedious when I expected more of a defence and prosecution to and fro questioning from the synopsis. Please don't be put off by my not enjoying it as if this is your usual cup of tea you may love it. Give it a go I'd love to know your thoughts. Natty Bee
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  • Michelle Driscoll
    May 27, 2017
    A young man is accused of murder and this book is his closing speech to the jury. Such an unusual way to tell a story and I loved it! It gives an insight into gangs and how easy it is to judge someone without knowing them. The accused decides to go through the eight pieces of evidence one by one in a bid to prove his innocence. I would love to read more from this author if this book is anything to go by, because it was such a thought-provoking book and one that I finished in under a day.5 solid A young man is accused of murder and this book is his closing speech to the jury. Such an unusual way to tell a story and I loved it! It gives an insight into gangs and how easy it is to judge someone without knowing them. The accused decides to go through the eight pieces of evidence one by one in a bid to prove his innocence. I would love to read more from this author if this book is anything to go by, because it was such a thought-provoking book and one that I finished in under a day.5 solid stars from me.
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  • michelle Simons
    March 2, 2017
    A brilliant, unique style of book. This impressed me with how the idea is so simple yet pretty strong as to how it comes across.A fantastic debut, the author should be rightly very proud of it. A winner in my opinion.
  • Lindsay
    March 12, 2017
    Originally posted at: https://bookboodle.wordpress.com/2017...I requested this book from Netgalley based on a promotional email I’d received and it was the blurb which attracted me to it…being all legal and that.  There is no real format to this review as I have to just get all my feelings and thoughts out in what will probably be one long ramble.All in all it’s a very interesting and unique way to tell a story; from the point of view of a defendant on trial for murder and through his closing st Originally posted at: https://bookboodle.wordpress.com/2017...I requested this book from Netgalley based on a promotional email I’d received and it was the blurb which attracted me to it…being all legal and that.  There is no real format to this review as I have to just get all my feelings and thoughts out in what will probably be one long ramble.All in all it’s a very interesting and unique way to tell a story; from the point of view of a defendant on trial for murder and through his closing statement.  Although in reality I don’t know if he really would be able to give a closing statement this long or what the implications and consequences be!However, through this statement, which does go on for a few days, we discover how he came to be where he is and why.  Gang and estate culture, drug dealing and prostitution – it really is another world and another language.  It takes a bit of getting used to, every other word is ‘like’, bro, innit all this gangster chat and half the time I found I was trying to decipher what his point was.PLOT SPOILER AHEAD >>I do prefer books that have clear cut endings and unfortunately for me this isn’t one of them.  To all intents and purposes, without trying to give too much away, I, and other readers, are the jury and will need to come to our own conclusions at the end as there isn’t a proper end.  For that reason, this book would make an interesting book for a book club read as you could have a really good debate.Overall, an interesting premise and a pretty decent debut.
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  • Laura
    February 26, 2017
    Struggled to read. Found it hard to believe that an English Court of Law would allow testimony in this fashion and lost interest as a result. Well written and an interesting lead character but just not for me.
  • James
    June 1, 2017
    There are very few books written entirely as a monologue. In fact, I can think of just one other, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamed. No doubt there are other examples, but it’s fair to say that it is rare. Whereas the Reluctant Fundamentalist has the narrator sitting in a cafe in Lahore, telling his story to a lone American, You Don’t Know Me has the narrator addressing a whole court room. For the entire narrative of this novel is a defendant – having sacked his barrister at the end o There are very few books written entirely as a monologue. In fact, I can think of just one other, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamed. No doubt there are other examples, but it’s fair to say that it is rare. Whereas the Reluctant Fundamentalist has the narrator sitting in a cafe in Lahore, telling his story to a lone American, You Don’t Know Me has the narrator addressing a whole court room. For the entire narrative of this novel is a defendant – having sacked his barrister at the end of his trial for murder – standing up and delivering his own closing speech.Our narrator is an inner-city young black man, portrayed by the prosecution as being a gang member. He stands accused of gunning down a man in the street. The evidence the prosecution has marshalled appears damning: mobile phone cell sites put him in the locale at the same time the victim was shot, he was seen arguing with the victim days before, upon arrest a Baikal handgun was found in his flat, gunshot residue was found on his hands and clothes, finally, a large sum of money was found in a bag in his kitchen.You Don’t Know Me starts off with our narrator explaining why he sacked his barrister, why against his brief’s advice, he has decided not only to deliver his own closing speech, but to tell the jury what he claims to be the whole truth, leaving out nothing. He warns the jury that some of what he is about to tell them will not be flattering, that rather than portray him in a good light, it will damn him. But, and here’s the crux, if the jury – and by extension us, the reader – will just bear with him, his innocence of the murder he stands accused of will become apparent.And so, our narrator launches upon his explanation. He starts by going through the evidence ranged against him, rebutting it and giving alternative explanations, but as he progresses he can’t help but get side-tracked down narrative alleyways of explanation. What results is a fascinating tale of a young man’s existence on the periphery of gang life in modern urban Britain. As he tells it, slowly, inexorably, he’s sucked into the orbit of vicious gangsters and organised crime bosses, a state of affairs that leads to beatings, shoot outs and dead bodies.Imran Mahmood, the author of You Don’t Know Me, is a barrister practising in criminal law. He has defended many a defendant accused of being in gangs and having committed serious crimes. He says that he was motivated to write You Don’t Know Me to explore these issues and how young men get pulled into such a life. To my mind he’s done this admirably and I felt real empathy for someone who in the real world it would be all too easy to demonise. How many times does one open a newspaper, read the latest court reports of an offender sent to prison for stabbing or shooting somebody, dismiss them as evil, criminal scum? At no point does Mahmood glorify these crimes, but he does humanise the offender, show that often they are victims in their own right.You Don’t Know Me is not some social justice rant however. While forcing the reader to confront some thorny social issues, it is also a damn fine read, a whodunnit almost. A great aspect of this book is that the verdict is not given at the end, rather, we the reader are the jury and it is up to us to conclude in our own minds whether he is guilty or not. The apotheosis of this comes with the final twist at the end. I won’t give away spoilers, but at first this strained credibility for me, had me thinking the narrator had gone too far. But then he says to the jury – us, the readers – strange things happen in life, there are deaths which appear to be the result of conspiracies, and is it too much of a stretch that he is the victim of another? Immediately my mind turned to the deaths of Dr David Kelly, Alexander Litvinenko, even famous assassinations like those of John F Kennedy and I thought perhaps I should give the narrator the benefit of the doubt. I won’t say whether I judged our defendant-narrator guilty or not guilty once I had read the final page. What I will say is that anyone reading this review who hasn’t read You Don’t Know Me should read it and judge for themselves!Brilliant and original, this is a definite 5 star read!
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  • Anne
    May 5, 2017
    Incredibly clever, and like nothing that I've read before, You Don't Know Me captivated me from the opening paragraph. This is a skilfully written story with a forceful voice that slinks its way into the reader's head, and no matter how hard you try to shake it off, its there, needling away until you read more, and more. Even when you turn that final page, the narrator's tone and language and startling story will linger, with questions that may not be answered, ever.We've all followed the big co Incredibly clever, and like nothing that I've read before, You Don't Know Me captivated me from the opening paragraph. This is a skilfully written story with a forceful voice that slinks its way into the reader's head, and no matter how hard you try to shake it off, its there, needling away until you read more, and more. Even when you turn that final page, the narrator's tone and language and startling story will linger, with questions that may not be answered, ever.We've all followed the big court cases; on the TV, in the newspapers or via the internet. We've heard the smooth-talking lawyers who could persuade you that the moon is made of cheese, with their clever words and their polished performance. They could be actors on a screen. But do we really ever get to know the real story? We hear what the professionals want to tell us about the defendant, we judge on the information that is fed to us. So do the jury, and they are the people that hold the fate of the accused in their hands.Imagine if the defendant decides that he doesn't want his QC to say any more. Imagine that this young black guy from South London who is accused of murder, sacks the professional and makes his own closing statement. That is what happens in You Don't Know Me, and it is thrilling and fascinating and opinion-changing.This author knows what he is doing. He's worked in this field for twenty-five years. He knows these guys, their language, their culture. He knows about the seedy, dark, hidden corners of London; the places obscured by the new buildings and the tourist lights. It is this knowledge that has enabled him to produce such a thought-provoking, and yes, at times, quite terrifying story. Most of us know that gangs exist in London, but how many of us know the real facts of what happens within them. From the 'Oldies'; the long-in-the-tooth men who have been living that life for years, down to the 'Tinies'; the children, not even out of primary school, who are used by the gangs. Children whose voices have not yet broken, who carry guns and wear protective gloves. They know the streets, they know the score and they, one day will become the Oldies.The narrator is accused of murder. The prosecution has eight pieces of evidence that make him appear guilty. Slowly and surely, over ten days of speaking, he breaks down each piece of evidence for the jury. He explains in minute detail each of the points. He tells things that his QC didn't mention. Some of it appears far-fetched, but then so does his whole life, especially to the members of the jury who have about as much idea about gang culture as the reader does.You Don't Know Me is thrilling, daring and mesmeric. It is frightening, the author does not sugar-coat anything. The reader learns about the sordid and the cruel, alongside the dangers. It is a study in how young men can be influenced by those amongst them, about how easy it can be go from ordinary boy on the street to a man accused of murder.The author's insight is astonishing and the ending is genius. Surely another contender for my Top Books of 2017 list.http://randomthingsthroughmyletterbox...
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  • Cleo Bannister
    May 7, 2017
    A defendant takes the stand to give his closing speech, his lawyer unable or unwilling to proceed under his client’s instruction. What happens next is one of the most unusual, and thought provoking crime fiction reads that I have come across in a long time.The defendant starts by stating that his lawyer had asked him to leave some parts of the story out, as the truth can be too difficult to explain or perhaps just too far away from the jurors who will have to decide whether the eight pieces of e A defendant takes the stand to give his closing speech, his lawyer unable or unwilling to proceed under his client’s instruction. What happens next is one of the most unusual, and thought provoking crime fiction reads that I have come across in a long time.The defendant starts by stating that his lawyer had asked him to leave some parts of the story out, as the truth can be too difficult to explain or perhaps just too far away from the jurors who will have to decide whether the eight pieces of evidence that the prosecution have presented have raised the bar too far for reasonable doubt to win the day.The narrative structure of this book is without break one young man’s description of his counter claims against the crucial pieces of evidence presented and as such it is incredibly powerful but also at times a difficult one to pull off; this is not a short book and I am unused to one voice without interruption, but on balance this difference is one of the things that will make me remember this book long after I have read and forgotten many others.From my point of view, and as the book is presented, I was one of the jurors listening to a young man who lives a life unlike the one he does, and has all of his life, and that was obviously part of the point. I was there to judge with complete with ignorance about gangs and the way that those who live in areas controlled by them are powerless to stay completely clear of their influence, even if they don’t join the gang itself, which I’m very glad to say our defendant hadn’t. The book starts off with quite a lot of street vernacular, which sets the scene but the usage of this decreases as the speech continues, just used enough to remind the reader that you are listening to a young man who is fighting for his freedom, against what he sees as an injustice.I have to admit this book got to me. Not only did I learn something about stuff I only see on the news, which was both skilfully presented without at all glorifying gangs, but perhaps explaining a little about a world that thankfully hasn’t touched my life. You Don’t Know Me also gave an insight into how the way a story is presented, how much you buy into that story depends on how believable each of its elements is. That said I very much doubt that any judge would have allowed this speech on length and the mass introduction of new evidence, but that didn’t in anyway detract from the gripping nature of the narrative. The world as many of us know, is made up of shades of grey and I was interested to see how much towards the black shades I was willing to go before I said ‘enough,’ and the answer was further than I would have expected before I started reading this one.A superb debut with much to think about and as such this would make an unusual book club read, but one that I’m sure would provide a lively debate, not only about the content itself but the way the story is presented.
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  • Kath
    May 28, 2017
    I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and I am still torn about it. On the one hand, I mostly enjoyed the story contained within the book, on the other I can't get past all the reservations I have that this would have been allowed to have been played out as described. I simply can't believe that this is his closing speech. I struggle with the attention to detail given and the things the defendant can recall, especially the exact dialogue. I am supposed to believe that all that is in the boo I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and I am still torn about it. On the one hand, I mostly enjoyed the story contained within the book, on the other I can't get past all the reservations I have that this would have been allowed to have been played out as described. I simply can't believe that this is his closing speech. I struggle with the attention to detail given and the things the defendant can recall, especially the exact dialogue. I am supposed to believe that all that is in the book has been taken from transcriptions of the defendants own work. nope, sorry I can't. It starts off being credible but as the story develops, it starts to veer from being someone talking and reads like just a normal book. I am also struggling to comprehend what judge would allow a defendant to talk for that long, swearing all the way, and showboating his way through what I would consider to be new evidence and, as I have been informed by a barrister friend, that's not really the done thing in a closing speech.And then, the ending. I am meant to make a decision. Based on what? The transcripts alone? The written word with no body language, no facial expressions, no tone of voice, and a story that, although was really interesting, was just that, a story? Not evidence as I also don't even think he was still under oath. So the ending was totally flat to me and I didn't finish with a good feeling.As I said, all this is a shame for me as, on the whole, I enjoyed the actual story being told. Well, apart from the unbelievable cop out curve ball our boy threw in at the end. That kind of ruined it a wee bit for me. But I did find his story, his world, his battles and fights to be fascinating. It's a completely different world to mine and even just this glimpse, this snapshot opened my eyes.Characters were good too, pacing was interesting as it was determined by the court breaks, some of which were a bit contrived and sometimes a bit off timing wise. All in all, this was, for me, a good story that fell way short in delivery. I am obviously amongst the minority in this but this is my experience, my truth of reading this book and I am always honest in my reviews so I have to be here. Maybe I am too black and white with my reading of this book and, as such, unable to fully appreciate the colours that the author has tried to weave into this story, maybe.My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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  • Margaret Duke-Wyer
    February 21, 2017
    You Don’t Know Me by Imran MahmoodThis book is categorised as General Fiction but it is so much more than that. It is a particular viewpoint questioning our criminal justice system, gang culture, the disparity between different roles assigned to us within society and, in my opinion, a love story.The fact that the Defendant is never identified by name serves to point out that this could be ‘anyman’ within the circumstances of his race, class, education. His opening speech mentions Lord Palmerston You Don’t Know Me by Imran MahmoodThis book is categorised as General Fiction but it is so much more than that. It is a particular viewpoint questioning our criminal justice system, gang culture, the disparity between different roles assigned to us within society and, in my opinion, a love story.The fact that the Defendant is never identified by name serves to point out that this could be ‘anyman’ within the circumstances of his race, class, education. His opening speech mentions Lord Palmerston who spoke for 5 hours a feat that he assures us he is unable to replicate. However, his speech continues for 10 days in which he attempts to clarify how a) led to b) led to c) - led him to be on trial for the murder of Jamil (JC) a member of a gang, although he, himself, was never a gang-member. His speech gives an in-depth analysis of the circumstances surrounding the crime of which he is accused and the factors leading up to his present position.The other main characters are very well defined by Mahmood. We have portraits of his mother, his sister (Bless), his girlfriend (Kira) and his friend (Curt) and in opposition we have Kira’s brother, the different gangs and the Establishment. . In retrospect it is as though they were with him, telling their story. These all come to life through the Defendants voice; a voice that defines his position in society, full of slang or patois. At the same time, his testimony shows that he is intelligent, that he is empathic.I was deeply moved by his description of Kira (location 1064), so profound, so insightful.This is an extremely clever, thought-provoking book, as it is meant to be. It serves to question the notion of a ‘fair trial’ or ‘trial by your peers’. Now, I do feel I know who he is and I do like him but I am left pondering the issues that were raised.If you like court-room drama, this really is a must for you. It is absolutely brilliant.Thank you NetGalley for providing this book via Kindle in return for an honest review.
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  • Vicky-Leigh Sayer
    May 9, 2017
    You Don't Know Me is a crime novel with a difference, not only is it from the defendant rather than the victim's perspective, but we also never know the name of our perpetrator. On trial for murder he sacks his lawyer just before the closing speeches and decides to deliver his own defence.In a sense we the reader, are an additional member of the jury, but we hear none of the preceding trial evidence, hear no witness statements, no cross examination. All we have is the defendant's word.As he talk You Don't Know Me is a crime novel with a difference, not only is it from the defendant rather than the victim's perspective, but we also never know the name of our perpetrator. On trial for murder he sacks his lawyer just before the closing speeches and decides to deliver his own defence.In a sense we the reader, are an additional member of the jury, but we hear none of the preceding trial evidence, hear no witness statements, no cross examination. All we have is the defendant's word.As he talks through the evidence that has been previously presented we are allowed an insight into this young mans life. His upbringing, his family and friends, and the path that led him to be tried for Murder.Gangs and criminals in London may not be anything new, but to delve into them in the depths that this novel does, from the perspective of this nameless character certainly is. And it works. Sure, it may put us into a world in which we are unfamiliar and uncomfortable, but as the defendant argues, we don't always get to chose what happens to us.His is a convincing argument, whether it is convincing enough, well sadly the jury is still out on that one. And there lies my one and only frustration with this novel is that we don't learn the outcome of the trial. I understand that this is deliberate, that we are supposed to make our own decisions, but it would have been interesting to get the authors perspective.You Don't Know Me is a brave and clever debut novel that is sure to have you gripped. The voice of the defendant is raw and gritty as he appeals to the jury to believe his story, but you will want to know who he is and if you can trust him to tell you the truth. Do we know him at all, is he guilt-free? Or is he just another murderer trying to convince himself and the jury of his false innocence?
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  • Charlotte Wilson
    May 4, 2017
    How can I write a review that does this book justice?I can tell you that the concept is so compelling that I suffered juror’s anxiety throughout the reading, and beyond.That the story the defendant tells, spanning gang warfare and prostitution and drugs and murder, is raw and gritty, and disturbingly believable.That the voice of the defendant is the most striking I’ve read for years; bold, ‘innit’, and stark, and memorably beautiful at times (‘It was still August and she was wearing the summer l How can I write a review that does this book justice?I can tell you that the concept is so compelling that I suffered juror’s anxiety throughout the reading, and beyond.That the story the defendant tells, spanning gang warfare and prostitution and drugs and murder, is raw and gritty, and disturbingly believable.That the voice of the defendant is the most striking I’ve read for years; bold, ‘innit’, and stark, and memorably beautiful at times (‘It was still August and she was wearing the summer like it was clothes’).I can tell you all that, but it’s not enough to express how powerful this book is. I don’t agree that at the end of the defendant’s speech the only question that matters is: ‘Did he do it?’ This book filled me with so many other big questions, and many of these in fact eclipsed the fun of playing juror. Most of all, I was left wanting to know: ‘Who is this man?’ To see right into a man’s world, to see him balancing on a knife’s edge, and all the while not even know his name – whether he was innocent or not, I wanted to know that; I wanted to know him.A brilliantly written, thought-provoking book.Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Donna
    May 5, 2017
    An intense, gripping read, “You Don’t Know Me” consists almost entirely of one character speaking for himself in a court room, leaving us breathlessly following his story without pause to divert elsewhere. Not many authors could get away with such a story, but Mahmood pulls it off brilliantly.Even more brilliant is the range of emotions this book created within me. All at once I felt bad for the main character, who has a very ‘disadvantaged’ background, yet I could never feel too bad due to his An intense, gripping read, “You Don’t Know Me” consists almost entirely of one character speaking for himself in a court room, leaving us breathlessly following his story without pause to divert elsewhere. Not many authors could get away with such a story, but Mahmood pulls it off brilliantly.Even more brilliant is the range of emotions this book created within me. All at once I felt bad for the main character, who has a very ‘disadvantaged’ background, yet I could never feel too bad due to his unique kind of in-eloquent intelligence. I felt conflicted and confused, was he a victim of his own environment and essentially a good person? But then again, he couldn’t be good if he did even half the things that he himself claimed that he did. This tugging back and forth with my emotions went from beginning to end, where I STILL don’t have an answer.In all, a very good read and one that makes you stop and think!
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  • Leanne
    May 29, 2017
    I stumbled upon this book after a dry spell. Nothing was appealing to me and I had been struggling along with something dry and boring. Then I found this book. An unnamed defendant stands on trial for murder. Just before the closing speeches he sacks his attorney and gives his own speech. Sounds simple but something pulled me into this book. And once I was in, I couldn't (or didn't want to) get out. Even as I was getting towards the end, I kept putting the book down and doing something else beca I stumbled upon this book after a dry spell. Nothing was appealing to me and I had been struggling along with something dry and boring. Then I found this book. An unnamed defendant stands on trial for murder. Just before the closing speeches he sacks his attorney and gives his own speech. Sounds simple but something pulled me into this book. And once I was in, I couldn't (or didn't want to) get out. Even as I was getting towards the end, I kept putting the book down and doing something else because I didn't want it to end.
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