It’s easy to judge between right and wrong – isn’t it?
Not until you hear a convincing truth.
Now it’s up to you to decide…
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?
This is another catch-up review, and one I listened to on Audible rather than read. You Don’t Know Me is real-life lawyer, Imran Mahmood’s debut, brilliantly narrated by Adam Deacon. I hadn’t actually realised that the protagonist isn’t even named in the story until after I’d finished, it was that gripping. Reminded me a little of Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne. That entire story is her non-stop monologue police interview following the discovery of her husband’s body. You Don’t Know Me is a similar monologue – in this case, our protagonist’s closing speech in his murder trial after he’s fired his barrister.
In order to convince the jury of his innocence in the face of seemingly overwhelming evidence, our protagonist tells his own story, right from the very start. Mahmood paints a vivid picture of the difficulties big city youth can face, especially those raised in areas of deprivation, and he does it with amazing skill. There are twists and turns aplenty, and some great characters.
I won’t give the ending away, but will leave you with this thought: a book is all about the journey, and this is one hell of a journey!