‘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.’
This novel is told from the point of view of the defendant giving his closing speech in which he talks the jury – the jury is us, the reader – through each element of the evidence as he tries to convince us that he is not guilty of this murder. It is for us to decide if he is guilty or not guilty.
‘You Don’t Know Me‘ covers current contentious topics such as gang culture and social issues. The clever way in which Mahmood has written this, by bringing it to life by being narrated by the defendant, keeps the reader enthralled and wanting to read on to find out the full story and how it all fits together.
I read the whole book in day and thought it was a good read, although I did think the ending was slightly weaker than the rest of the novel. Ultimately, a great debut novel by Mahmood.
Overall this is a compelling and thought provoking book, which leaves thoughts of sadness and empathy lingering in your mind for those living in such situations.