Cover Image: I Know What I Saw

I Know What I Saw

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Member Reviews

A twisty thriller that places you in the heart of the the protagonist Xander following his movements after witnessing a murder. The gritty realness of life on the streets was delivered perfectly.
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Imran writes a gritty and well plotted psychological thriller that revolves around a surprising man who has lived on the streets of London for many years, unable to stomach living inside. Xander Shute is man with his own demons, he was once a wealthy and successful man, having studied Mathematics at Cambridge University and reaped the rewards of working in investment banking. Now he has to fight for a sleeping spot, ending up injured, trudging through the rain, in pain, looking for an alternative place to shelter. He spots an open door of a flat in Mayfair, enters and ends up falling asleep, only to wake up overhearing a couple from his hidden position, becoming a witness to the man killing the woman. Plagued by guilt that he made no efforts to save the woman, he flees the scene, worried that he might be arrested as the killer instead.

Upon being treated in hospital, Xander is picked up by the police and interviewed by DI Rachel Blake and DI Simon Conway, assuming they are interested in what he saw earlier. However, they have brought him in as a suspect in the assault of a homeless guy. They follow up his detailed report, only to accuse him of wasting police time, raising the possibility of mental health issues, ending up charging him when he persists in maintaining he saw what he saw. This is a story of trauma, ghosts and unreliable memories, as layer after layer of Xander's past life is revealed, his Proust loving mother, a father that fuelled a competitive and resentful relationship with his younger brother, Rory, and with Grace whom he had met at university, the woman he had loved and the painful disintegration of their relationship.

It turns out long ago a woman died in the Mayfair flat which has the police charging Xander with murder. Xander redoubles his efforts to get to the truth of what he saw, only to find out that he is coming face to face with who he is, with a past that seems to continually elude his grasp, yet the answers all lie buried within the torments and fragility of his mind. This is an intense, compelling and immersive reading experience where you root for Xander in this well written and suspenseful novel, full of twists and turns, right up to the final reveal. Many thanks to Bloomsbury for an ARC.
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What an atmospheric and clever story! I couldn’t help but keep turning pages until I finished the book!
I’ll be honest; I had never heard of the author before this – I was fortunate enough to get an advance copy and extremely pleased I did. Imran is clearly a brilliant writer who knows exactly how to tell a story! 

I Know What I Saw is written from the perspective of the protagonist, Xander Shute, a homeless man who believes he witnessed a murder. He is soon accused of wasting police time, and then things get much worse. 
With tenacious yet compassionate detectives on his case about the murder, he must search his congested and confused mind to unearth the truth.      

I found myself getting very drawn into the plot and found Xander to be incredibly compelling. The book provides a great insight into living rough on the cold and dingy streets of London. The atmosphere feels so real that I could literally feel the cold. And I truly wasn’t expecting it to end the way it did. 

The story was incredibly descriptive, especially in judicial processes, and this is no surprise as the author is a qualified barrister. He did this stylishly and tastefully, and I fell for every word. 

I genuinely haven’t got a bad thing to say about this book. I absolutely loved it! 

If you want a well-paced, mesmerising escape for a few hours, then I highly recommend reading this unforgettable page-turner. The official release of this book is in July 2021.
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I really loved this book and could not wait for my daily treat of a bedtime read, so much so that bed time was extended into the early hours to get it finished.
Such an unusual story, beautifully written with such empathy and honesty.  I can really recommend this book to anyone.
The feeling of desperation of Xander as the story unfolds really grips the reader and you can only feel for him as he seeks out places without walls to recover his mental stability.

Very good book.
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I Know What I Saw is one of those rare treats, where you will convince yourself you’ve worked it all out...only to then be slipped a little detail that makes your theory untenable. This mercurial element comes from the shifting details provided by our narrator.
Our main character, Xander, is homeless and we follow him through what can best be described as a bewildering sequence of events. Attacked for invading another homeless man’s patch, Xander is forced to seek shelter one evening. He finds an open doorway, and keen to escape heavy rain he enters a house. While trying to dry off he falls asleep, and is woken by voices. Crouched behind a sofa he hears an argument and sees a woman being murdered.
When Xander goes to the police they have no evidence of a crime being committed. He is charged with wasting police time, and they are convinced his mental health is impacting on his ability to engage with his environment.
As we follow Xander through this experience, we learn more about his past. There’s clear signs of trauma, and indications that events in his life have impacted badly on him. 
When the police reveal that Xander’s recollections of the crime match an unexplained accident that took place thirty years previously, he is charged with murder. His freedom depends on him being able to recall facts his brain does not seem able to process. 
Once we’d got underway I found myself engrossed, desperate to work out what had happened. Not every question was answered, and there were clear signs that even by the end not everything had been tidily resolved. Xander remains something of an enigma, but this was still a great read.
Huge thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this before publication in exchange for my review.
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I read the debut novel of Imran Mahmood ‘You don’t know me’ which I loved and knew I had to read this one as well. This is a very enjoyable novel that got me early on and I stayed up most of the night to finish it. Great characters and so well written in this excellently paced novel making it another winner for me.

Xander Shute was once a wealthy banker, in love and living a happy life but now chooses to live on the streets. While finding shelter for the night in an empty Mayfair flat he is disturbed by the returning occupants. He hides behind the chesterfield settee and witnesses a man and woman arguing which results in a vicious murder. When he reports the murder to the police they are unable to find any evidence to support his claims. Xander is not put off and wants to know who the dead woman is and for the murderer to be brought to justice. Xander’s memory is put to the test as he struggles to recall details having lived on the streets for so long and he is forced to confront his buried past.

I really enjoyed this and was completely absorbed in the story, willing Xander on in his pursuit of the truth. This book will make you want to keep reading to the end in one sitting to discover the truth.

I would like to thank both Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing PLC for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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This was such a tense and absorbing read that I felt myself holding my breath so many times as the story developed. I’m not going to say too much about the actual storyline as this is a book that’s better read not knowing what to expect and I really loved it. The main character Zander a highly intelligent man who has chosen to live on the streets is one of the best characters I have ever read, I felt every emotion he did and I cared about him so much such was the quality of writing from Imran Mahmood. Zander struggles with everything life, time and loss but most of all he struggles with what he saw and this is main premise of this amazing and gripping book. 
So I don’t have enough words to praise this book or to do justice to just how good it is all I know is I got lost in the story and forgot about everything else and that’s what made it for me an outstanding read.
My thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Raven Books for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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An EXCELLENT thrilling story which had me totally gripped from page one!
I raced through this story, it is believable, well written and the characters are both likeable and tragic.
I already see this being adapted for TV.
4 stars ⭐️
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I Know What I Saw is a psychological mystery/ thriller which follows Xander Shute's journey in search of truth. 

So many questions, how, what, why, are posed from the start and that makes the book almost impossible to put down. 

Mahmood's portrayal of life on the streets of London doesn't hold back, violence, psychological scars and the elements are just a few issues Xander has to face which makes for a really interesting read. 

I Know What I Saw is incredible well written throughout and utterly captivating in parts. Mahmood subtly brings all the pieces to a thrilling conclusion too! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I'll look forward to more from Iman Mahmood. 

Thank you to Bloomsbury for the opportunity to read this advance proof.
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I Know What I Saw - Imran Mahmood 

I was very interested to read this after seeing rave reviews for his previous book.

I Know What I Saw is a very unusual novel, a psychological mystery thriller about a homeless man who believes he has witnessed a murder and his obsessive need to get to the truth.

Xander Shute is a very unusual protagonist, homeless in London, apparently by choice as he is middle class, well educated, had a well paid job and money in the bank.

Xander's life on the streets is unflinchingly portrayed, with physical violence, head injuries and the constant struggle to keep warm, dry and safe.

Xander's thoughts and memories are disjointed and often rambling, slipping between the present and past events. I'm mentioning Xander a lot, he is really the only character we get to actually know about in real, human detail.

Here is no doubt it is very well written, I found it absorbing rather than compelling. The tension does build towards the end, as pieces do fall into place. Discoveries in the present make Xander re-think and re-remember things he think he knew. 

I read a lot of psychological novels and thrillers and I found this good, but not great. I found it a little disjointed, I didn't find Xander very likeable or relatable, partly through the structure, it felt like Xander's didn't want anyone else getting into his head making empathy difficult.

Thanks to Netgalley and Raven Books / Bloomsbury
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Unfortunately I could not get into this book. I felt disconnected to the story and the characters and it didn't hit the right spot for me. I kept reading hoping I would get to like it but it didn't happen, so it is 2 stars from me.
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Read in one sitting. Incredible page turning novel.

Xander once a very successful business man has, through circumstances found himself living on the street.
He witnesses a murder and through a powerfuly written narrative this thriller will astound you and keep you reading all night
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Xander Shute was a successful banker who is now living on the streets of London fighting his own demons.
I found this to be a thought provoking read, regarding what made him leave everything behind, and then he witnesses a murder.
Well written although I did get a little confused with the past & present, but was probably me not concentrating enough.
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Ooh wow this was a great page turner from page one, loved everything about this book and read it in one sitting as I couldn’t put it down and it kept me guessing, Highly recommend it x
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This book was gripping from start to finish. I did not know how the book was going to end and was surprised at the ending. Thoroughly good read. Anyone who likes unusual crime thrillers would love this.
The plot unravelled gradually and the ending was a total surprise. I did not want to put this book down.
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was hard to imagine that Imran Mahmood could come up with a novel to match the intensity and grit of You Don’t Know Me, but here it is – whilst I Know What I Saw is a very different concept, the sheer quality of the plotting stands out, it is an immersive and often highly emotional story that grips from first page to last.

Xander lives on the streets, fighting his own personal demons daily. The reader immediately gets a sense for this man and the struggles of a transient life, so are with him all the way. When he witnesses a murder the police cannot confirm and ends up in hot water himself so begins a twisty, addictive journey towards the truth of things.

I loved it. I didn’t want to put it down until I knew what happened, or more specifically whether Xander would come out of this ok. The sprawling, disconnected feel of the character’s thought process and actions holds you within the pages until the clever, emotionally charged finale.

With a unique writing style and a very human based imagination, I would say Imran Mahmood is an author to watch long term. Really very good indeed.

Recommended.
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3.5 stars

I've been looking forward to this book,having enjoyed Mahmoods previous one.
It didnt disappoint.
At times it was confusing,but that's mainly as our main character is confused,after a series of events has him living on the streets for much of his life.
Lots of reveals along the way,that turn the story in different directions. All of them having me puzzling over the who and what and why.
A very decent read.
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I'm struggling to rate this book. Very well written but I struggled to relate to the characters and it was dnf for me sorry x
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I can’t pretend that I understood all of this book, and I was confused several times.  However, it was so beautifully written that I couldn’t put it down.  What on earth has happened to this once wealthy banker with a brilliant mind, that has resulted in him living on the streets with nothing?  Something happened in Xander’s past that was so disturbing it caused serious issues with his memory and his mental health.  The story is about love, friendship, murder and betrayal.  It isn’t an easy read, but it’s one of those where you just have to keep on reading to find out what happens next.  The ending was quite shocking, and my heart went out to Xander.  A really gripping story.
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Unfortunately this one didnt hit the spot for me, I like thrillers where I can understand and usually empathise with the main character, but I didnt understand Xander Shute's motivation and had no desire to get to know him. The style was a bit too impersonal for me too, not to my taste.
But thanks to Netgalley for the chance to read it
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