Eight cryptic words.
Lifetimes of ruin.
Wayland Maynard is just eight years old when he sees his father kill himself, finds a note that reads I am not who you think I am, and is left reeling with grief and shock. Who was his father if not the loving man Wayland knew? Terrified, Wayland keeps the note a secret, but his reasons for being afraid are just beginning.
Eight years later, Wayland makes a shocking discovery and becomes certain the note is the key to unlocking a past his mother and others in his town want to keep buried.
With the help of two friends, Wayland searches for the truth. Together they uncover strange messages scribbled in his father’s old books, a sinister history behind the town’s most powerful family, and a bizarre tragedy possibly linked to Wayland’s birth. Each revelation raises more questions and deepens Wayland’s suspicions of everyone around him. Soon, he’ll regret he ever found the note, trusted his friends, or believed in such a thing as the truth.
I Am Not Who You Think I Am is an ingenious, addictive, and shattering tale of grief, obsession, and fate as eight words lead to lifetimes of ruin.
A Note From the Publisher
“[An] exceptional thriller…Rickstad has raised his game to a new level.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Rickstad ratchets up the suspense, filling Wayland’s investigations with misdirection, shadowy characters, and gothic elements. There’s a sense of dread throughout the book, but the final plot twist is a jaw-dropper. Recommended for readers who like their thrillers dark and twisted.”
"Wicked and smart. Everything you want in a great thriller. A smart, very well written book with whiplash-inducing twists and turns that I never saw coming. I Am Not Who You Think I Am kept me reading late into the night."
-Adrian McKinty, New York Times bestselling author of The Chain
"Rickstad weaves layer upon layer of psychological mystery-all wrapped up in vivid, elegant prose."
-Brian Freeman, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep, Deep Snow
“I Am Not Who You Think I Am is a grim tour-de-force, full of sleight-of-hand twists. Rickstad feints in one direction, then cuts you while you aren’t looking. Dark and unflinching. You’re not getting out of this one unscathed.”
-Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Road of Bones and Ararat
“I loved it. A riveting tale of lies and betrayal. Clear your calendar before you crack the cover—you WON’T be able to put this one down!”
-J. D. Barker, New York Times bestselling author of A Caller’s Game
“A riveting tale of consequences, family, and fate—darkly poetic and deeply felt…Do not miss this.”
-Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of Her Perfect Life
“An exceptional read by an exceptional writer.”
-Catherine Ryan Howard, internationally bestselling author of 56 Days
“Eric Rickstad is the rare writer who can wrap a dark, gritty story in smooth, poetic prose.”
-Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Ex
“Eric Rickstad’s is a name to remember.”
“This is the kind of story that lingers long after you’ve finished reading...”
-Portland Book Review
Major campaign for New York Times bestselling author Eric Rickstad
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Author website: https: Rickstad.com
Twitter: @ericrickstad / Facebook: @ericrickstadauthor
Average rating from 24 members
I would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book, it is by an author I haven’t read before but the premise sounded interesting. The first 1/4 is more slow burning but it picks up and I sped through the last 3/4 and I couldn’t put it down. Wayland witnesses the suicide of his father as a child and then as a teen is plagued by the memory of it and what really happened that night. A great read with plot twists I didn’t see coming.
Wayland is still recovering from the shock of seeing his father kill himself when he was only eight years old. Now sixteen, he begins to wonder about what really happened. He remembers the tall, creepy man who threatened his father days before his suicide. And he thinks about the fact that his father, whom he saw from the back before the man shot himself in the face, seemed oddly shrunken in those last few moments. But mostly, he wonders about the words left on a scrap of paper at the suicide scene “I am not who you think I am”. Part coming of age novel, part thriller, this is an absorbing read
An excellent addition to the crowded crime genre. A recommended purchase for collections where thrillers are popular.
The synopsis for this book caught my attention. “Wayland Maynard is just eight years old when he sees his father kill himself, finds a note that reads I am not who you think I am, and is left reeling with grief and shock. … Eight years later, Wayland makes a shocking discovery and becomes certain the note is the key to unlocking a past his mother and others in his town want to keep buried.” We are fortunate that we are able to accompany Wayland on his investigation. As his investigation progresses, more questions than answers arise, and Wayland makes things worse since the more he discovers, the angrier he becomes. There were several times that I gasped out loud at the pain Wayland experiences. The story is engaging with twists and turns throughout, keeping me engaged—wanting to find the ultimate truth. I especially appreciated the author’s word and turn of phrase choices; the story benefited greatly from his writing style/voice. A copy of I Am Not Who You Think I Am was provided to me by NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for an honest review.
A quick, emotional and thrilling page-turner with some fun twists and turns. The writing and the pace are brilliant.
ever a title was apropos for a story, this is it. Every character has another side to their lives that is revealed only as the story unravels. A young boy sees his father commit suicide but hides the note that was left because it cast his dad in a questionable light. Move ahead in time and this note now becomes a mystery that needs to be solved. This odd teenager with all the angst that goes with being a teen decides to cajole two friends in his research about the note and its real meaning. In doing so he uncovers hidden facts of his town, his family and his friends that keep the reader glued to the pages. This story is an education for eveyone as to what can happen when personal interpretations about people and situations are misconstrued and the ramifications that result. The author, after many twists and revelations, made the final scene come together in an explosion of shock and disbelief.
"Wayland Maynard is just eight years old when he sees his father kill himself, finds a note that reads I am not who you think I am, and is left reeling with grief and shock. Who was his father if not the loving man Wayland knew? Terrified, Wayland keeps the note a secret, but his reasons for being afraid are just beginning." - GoodReads This is the first novel I have read by Eric Rickstad, but it will not be my last. The writing style was smooth and enjoyable, the transition between chapters flowed nicely into each other. The character development was on point and the twist at the end is nothing short of five stars. The first quarter of the book was definitely a slow burn but I think it was just part of the build up. Once I hit the mid point I could not put this book down. I would highly recommend this author to anyone who enjoys a good thriller.
The book description piqued my interest with I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad. Blackstone Publishing and Net Galley were kind enough to provide me with a copy to read and share my thoughts on. The first eight years of Wayland Maynard's life are so dull they were wonderful, until the mid 1970s, when just eight years old, he witnesses his father kill himself and finds a note that reads "I am not who you think I am." Fast forward eight years, and Wayland has questions. With the help of his crush and his only friend, he begins to investigate and try to discover the truth. This book is a matryoshka doll of mysteries and revelations. With each little tidbit of information gained, more mysteries reveal themselves. In the same way these mysteries are being revealed, we are witnessing the (understandable) mental deterioration of Wayland and his relationships as he obsesses over the note left by his father. When we finally reach the truth, although both expected and unexpected, it's actually a very simple, albeit unsavory truth. The poor baby matryoshka doll wasn't painted as prettily as those who held her. With atmospheric writing, Eric Rickstad completely immerses the reader into this small New England town during 1984. The characters we encounter, including Wayland, are tangible human beings (and one dog), with characteristics both good and bad, and complex reasons for their actions. This is particularly admirable in a mystery, when often times the more minor characters are not given such depth. The pace begins slow as the scenery is set up, but then it picks up, until it's a feverish pitch in an attempt to get to that final truth. Everything a mystery should be, really. Rickstad is tricky, too. There are little hint nuggets tossed the readers' way. Perhaps some of you will note them sooner than did and figure it out before the book ends. I'm happy not having realized they were hints until after I finished, however, as I can now sit here and smile as I think, "Oh, and this/that little detail. I get it now." Tricky, tricky, but I love it. Every last bit of it. This was the first book authored by Eric Rickstad that I have read. I'll look forward to seeing what else he's got to offer in the future, and perhaps check into his past work as well. Mystery fans, I definitely recommend picking this one up either by preordering it or when it publishes on October 05, 2021.
Wayland Maynard is just eight years old when he sees his father kill himself, finds a note that reads I am not who you think I am, and is left reeling with grief and shock. Eight years later, Wayland makes a shocking discovery and becomes certain the note is the key to unlocking a past his mother and others in his town want to keep buried. I absolutely loved this dark and eerie story. It's a quick, emotional and thrilling page-turner with a lot of twists and turns. The story is very engaging and I couldn't wait to find the truth. The writing is very atmospheric and creepy and it reminded me a lot of Stephen King. I highly recommend this book and it will definitely be on my top 10 list for 2021. Don't miss out on this excellent book. Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for this copy.
I listened to the audio version of this book, I enjoyed the narration and felt it added another layer to the already complex story. The story started out slow but I was invested after an hour or so. I enjoyed the author’s way of describing things so clearly it feels like you could almost watch the scenes.
When he was eight years old, Wayland witnessed his father commit suicide. Now, eight years later in 1984, Wayland begins to suspect that it was not really his father he saw shoot himself. His quest to find the truth leads to shocking revelations about his family, and the destruction of his own life and the lives of those around him. Wayland is a sympathetic character, shy and insecure, and loving toward his dog and sister. He's remorseful about not showing enough appreciation for his mother. But his penchant for making assumptions that seem reasonable at the time but turn out to be mistaken, however, leads him to become increasingly angry and frantic. The frenetic final few chapters lead to a devastating and heartbreaking conclusion. A great page-turner with a lot of twists.
I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad Blackstone Publishing Expected publication: September 28th, 2021 Review date: August 29, 2021 ISBN1094000337 Wayland Maynard was 8 when he witnessed his father’s suicide. His father blew his face off with a shotgun. There was a note on the floor and Wayland took it and kept it hidden from everyone. The note said, “I am not who you think I am.” I thought Charles Horton Cooley’s quote would explain the title, the note, and therefore the premise of the novel. Here it is: “I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am.” Was his father leading a secret life? About a quarter of the way into the book, I had questions: Was the man whose feet dangled off the bed not his father? Was he murdered? Was he taken away? Did someone else write the note? Wayland was the one who identified the body as his father. Maybe he was wrong about everything…. Rickstad’s lush descriptions of environments transported me into his fictional world. For example: “The library crackled with silence and smelled of stale binding glue and fresh magazine ink.”(p. 57.) I was right there in the library with Wayland. Another example: “The clouds had parted, and the moon cast the open landscape in silver hues, as if I’d stepped into an old gel print negative” (p. 114-115). I’m imaging looking at a roll of developed black-and-white negatives. His words are powerful. I’m Not Who You Think I Am is a fast read because there is so much action. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading other works by Rickstad. 4 stars
I Am Not Who You Think I Am is a suspenseful, fast paced thriller that’s full of emotion. Wayland was such a multifaceted character who you watch deteriorate underneath his grief. I loved the beautiful writing style in this one and the slow build in the beginning while the scene was being set. I also appreciated all the little hints given throughout the book that led up to the ending. I admit I missed those hints and the ending was a surprise for me, but that’s what I love in a mystery. Highly recommend this for mystery and thriller lovers.
Part murder mystery, part psychological mind-f*ck and part coming of age story with a smidgeon of horror thrown in for good measure, I Am Not Who You Think I Am is one hell of a dark and twisted ride from the diabolical mind of Eric Rickstad. At eight years old, Wayland Maynard witnessed his father commit suicide with a shotgun and finding a note that says “I am not who you think I am.” Reeling from the trauma and dumbfounded by the meaning behind the note, Wayland keeps that note secret until eight years later when he starts to believe it wasn’t his dad who killed himself that day. Unable to shake the feeling that things aren’t as they seem, Wayland kicks off his own investigation with the help of two friends with the goal to find the truth about what happened to his dad. Along the way, Wayland becomes suspicious of everyone, uncovers secrets that shatter his beliefs and leads to unimaginable discovery that alters his life forever in an irrevocable manner. Sometimes, it’s truly better to let the truth lay dead and buried. This book is wonderfully messed up and feels like a great psychological thriller flick from the 1980’s, which makes sense since the bulk of this story takes place in the mid-80’s. But it’s more than just the time period and small-town setting. It’s a bunch of little things – a powerful family who basically owns the town, using microfilm to do research at the library, kids having the autonomy to wander around with minimal adult supervision, landline phones, creepy mansions on the hill, and more – that come together to weave a tale that’s simultaneously fresh and familiar. A fast-paced page turner that's hard to put down, I Am Not Who You Think I Am will keep you riveted and guessing throughout. Erik Rickstad delivers the goods in this book that’s sure to provide eerie and brain busting entertainment to readers looking for a disturbing psychological thriller to sink their teeth into.
I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad is an enthralling and engrossing read with a great plot and characters! Well worth the read
This book had me SHOOK from the start, in the wildly unique way the story is introduced in the newspaper in a letter to the town. The prose is beautiful, gripping, and provocative. The plot is complex and full of surprises, keeping the reader engaged cover to cover. This novel has so many challenging moments that leave readers wrestling with the many moral dilemmas Wayland and others experience, forcing you to ask yourself, "what would I do?" I thought this book is smart, compelling, and unique. Seeing and experiencing the events through the teenage perspective, while not reading like YA, makes I AM NOT WHO YOU THINK I AM stand out. I'm looking forward to interviewing the author.
I thought this book was outstanding! The writing, the characters, and the story were so interesting and so well-written. I will definitely look for more books from this author. After 8 year old Wayland Maynard witnessed his father's suicide, he was changed forever, and so was his family. Wayland has trouble connecting with with anyone other than his best friend who means well but is not a good person a lot of the time. His sister, Lydia, is in an abusive relationship, where she derives her love an connections. His widowed mother works long hours trying to hold her family together and not remember what has happened to them since her husband shot himself and her family was left alone. Wayland questions the events surrounding his father's suicide, and when he starts digging for answers, the truth is more shocking and harmful than he ever imagined it would be, very sad too. I had thoughts, while reading, what could have really happened to Wayland's father but never was I able to connect all the dots. I really DID NOT see that ending coming. Definitely a page turner until the very last word. Highly recommend this dark, twisty, suspenseful thriller.