This review is written with thanks to Michael Joseph for my copy of You Don’t Know Me via Netgalley.
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 heard so much about You Don’t Know Me and I was delighted to finally be able to read it. It’s an unusual format: the whole book is the closing speech by the defendant in a murder trial. I wasn’t sure how this would work and if the format would be able to maintain my attention. It definitely works and I was definitely engaged! The speech draws us in to the defendant’s life and encourages the reader to think about his situation, even though we may not be entirely comfortable with some of the choices he makes. I was rooting for him to succeed.
The author’s writing style is really clever, in that he places the reader in the position of the jury. This meant that I was constantly evaluating everything I read, trying to determine the truth and think about whether the defendant was guilty. I wanted to find out the answers to the questions that were posed by the prosecution and this kept me reading.
Through You Don’t Know Me, Mahmood explores the theme of stereotypes. The novel definitely opened my eyes to these issues and it’s a fascinating look at the way in which they relate to the justice system.
You Don’t Know Me is available from Amazon.