When Amy Blahn was murdered on a London office rooftop, Layla Mahoney was there. She held Amy as she died. But all she can say when police arrest her is that ‘It was Michael. Find Michael and you’ll find out everything you need to know.’
The problem is, the police can’t find Michael – there is no evidence that he exists. And time is running out before they have to either charge Layla with Amy’s murder, or let her go.
As a lawyer, Layla knows that she has only forty-eight hours to convince police to investigate the man she knows only as ‘Michael’ instead of her. But the more she attempts to control her interviews with police, the more the truth leaks out – and how much of that truth can Layla risk being exposed?
Every now and again you read a book which is so intricately woven, complicated and unpredictable that you just have to give up trying to work it out and go with the flow. All I Said Was True is such a book.
Is Layla telling the truth? No-one believes her, particularly Detectives Metcalf and Omer. She was found cradling the head of a very dead Amy Blahn on the roof of the building where her husband Russell works. ‘So much blood,’ she tells the operator when she rings 999. She was arrested for murder but all she can say is: ‘It was Michael. Find Michael and you’ll find out everything you need to know.’
But no-one can find Michael. Does he exist or is he a figment of Layla’s imagination? He saved her life once, but why does she keep seeing him afterwards? She thinks he is stalking her, but he maintains that it’s fate, that they are ‘entangled’ in some way. But nothing he tells her makes any sense.
Layla is the typical unreliable narrator, but that’s only if you think she is lying to the police. And I really didn’t know. The narrative switched back and forth between then and now till the two merged.
It’s all in the detail but that’s not something I can talk about without giving too much away so I’m staying schtum. A brilliant read and one that makes you think and address your misconceptions.
Many thanks to @Tr4cyF3nt0n for inviting me to be part of the #CompulsiveReaders #blogtour and to NetGalley for an ARC.
About the Author
Imran Mahmood is a practising barrister with thirty years’ experience fighting cases in courtrooms across the country. 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 Theakston Crime Novel of the Year and for the CWA Gold Dagger, and was made into a hugely successful BBC1 adaptation in association with Netflix. His second novel I Know What I Saw was released in June 2021, was chosen as a Sunday Times crime novel of the month and reached no. 2 on the Audible charts. He has been commissioned to write three screenplays and is working on his next novel. When not in court or writing novels or screenplays he can sometimes be found on the Red Hot Chilli Writers’ podcast as one of the regular contributors. He hails from Liverpool but now lives in London with his wife and daughters.