DNF Review: You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood



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?

long borrder

DNF Review:

DNF @ 63%

I’m so disappointed to be putting this book down as a DNF but I just couldn’t get on with it. The synopsis for this is reasonably vague and so I had created an entirely different story in my head to the one that was presented to me on paper.

First of all, I imagined this book was going to about a sophisticated, charming yet narcissistic type character, a Patrick Bateman of sorts, who was going to try to woo us and prove his innocence. If you’ve read the book, I’m sure you’ll be laughing at what I thought this was going to be like, because holy heck, it’s nothing like that at all. The character we meet is a young man from South London who talks like this: now blood, there is seven evidences against me but I’m gonna prove them all wrong, you get me?

The entire book is written in this colloquial way and my God, I could not connect with it in the slightest. I’m a white girl who’s lived in Buckinghamshire for most of her life, this kind of language and way of talking is so far beyond me it’s unreal. And maybe that makes me closed in to the world but what am I supposed to do? To me, this “street” way of talking is just another accent to me, and like I can’t read books that attempt to write in the Scottish accent, I can’t read a book that attempts to write in the “street” accent. It does not compute in my little head, OK?

The writing wasn’t the only problem for me, the other issue was the actual plot. What could have been such an excellent, unique story, turned out to be a long, boring, babbley mess.

For me, personally, there was nothing about this novel that made me want to continue reading it. I physically can’t push myself to finish this one… What a let down.

Thanks to Netgalley & Penguin UK – Michael Joseph for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

11 Replies to “DNF Review: You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood”

  1. Interesting review. I’ve downloaded this book on audio. Do you think plot wise it might be better on audiobook? (because I’m expecting the accent thing might be even worse on audio) Or do you think I shouldn’t bother with it? Ps I really like the new featured images and style of the blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I honestly couldn’t say with this one because it’s gaining so many different reviews! Ofc personally I’d say don’t bother, but others would say the exact opposite. I think there is a bit of a general consensus that some of the story could have been cut back to make it shorter. I think the accent thing might be annoying on audio, but at least you don’t need to decipher it in your head! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve this sitting to read from Netgalley and from reading reviews I am dreading attempting to read it. What annoys me is that I had been looking forward to it. Great review! I love seeing what folks DNF.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my god, I cannot deal with books which write in accents. It’s bad enough when it’s just in the dialogue, but when it’s the whole book?! Ugh. It’s a shame this one does that. The cover is gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

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