This is Xander Shute: once a wealthy banker, now living on the streets. As he shelters for the night in an empty Mayfair flat, he finds himself witnessing a vicious murder. But who was the dead woman, who the police later tell him can’t have been there? And why is the man Xander saw her with evading justice?
As Xander searches for answers, his memory of the crime comes under scrutiny, forcing him to confront his long-buried past and the stories he’s told about himself.
How much is he willing to risk to understand the brutal truth?
Thank you firstly to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for organising and inviting me to be involved in the blog tour for I Know What I Saw, and thank you to the publishers for the proof copy of the book. I enjoyed You Don’t Know Me (reviewed here) and so jumped at the chance to read this one.
Xander Shute is an interesting character – possibly the most unreliable narrator ever with a curious backstory that unfolds as the book progresses. From an affluent background, we know from the outset that Xander lives on the streets, seeking shelter in an empty house he witnessed the murder – an event that later feels unfathomable.
The writing is unusual, told in the first person narrative of Xander, it is a reflection of the main protagonist, but this is a book that requires concentration. There is a lot packed in here, the mystery of what Xander has seen, Xander’s backstory, his relationship with Grace, his brother and how he went from being a wealthy banker to being street homeless. There is a lot to this book and and the story is well executed, a thought provoking read as Xander, a tormented man wrestles with his demons. A sophisticated plot left me impressed with the writing, as so many threads are woven together to create a comprehensive mystery which had me wavering between thinking I might have worked it out and having no idea!
If you are looking for an original and sophisticated crime story with some interesting themes which will leave you thinking, then this is defintely the book for you. If you enjoyed the distinct writing of Mahmood with his debut, then again I would suggest you pick this up. Highly and widely recommended for anyone looking for something more than a crime story.
Follow the blogtour and check out what others are saying about I Know What I Saw. Thanks as always for reading.
About the Author
Imran Mahmood is a practicing barrister with almost 30 years’ experience fighting cases in court. He hails from Liverpool but now lives in London with his wife and daughters. His debut novel You Don’t Know Me was chosen by Simon Mayo as a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Choice for 2017 and longlisted for Theakstone crime novel of the year and for the CWA Gold Dagger, and is currently being adapted for screen in four parts. When not in court or writing novels he can sometimes be found on the Red Hot Chilli Writers podcast as one of the regular contributors.