I Know What I Saw is not a title that really stands out the way it should. It is, as becomes obvious by the end of the book, perfect for what this story is about. One of the best finds the year.
The first thing that struck me is that it is a story told from the perspective of a homeless man. Mahmood brilliantly explores the feelings and beliefs of someone who lives on the streets of London, the issues he faces such as finding his pitch for the night, hygiene, violence and other people's attitude to him. He explores the notion of freedom, of preferring to sleep on the ground over sleeping in a bed in a house. All fascinating insight.
The story is simple enough: after a violent altercation a homeless man wanders into a house and wItnesses a murder. The police do not believe him but he persists until he is arrested for wasting police time. So he attempts to find out who the victim and killer are with help from his old friend from the past.
This is a book about memory - what we remember, what we choose to remember and how we recall memories. And, of course, what we don't remember.
Extremely well written, this story is full of suspense in a refreshing way with credible and sympathetic characters. A writer to watch, for sure.
Published by Raven Books on 10 June 2021.
Advanced review copy supplied by the publishers.
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