I Am Not Who You Think I Am

Narrated by Steven Weber
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 05 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 04 Jan 2022

Talking about this book? Use #IAmNotWhoYouThinkIAm #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


One secret.

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.

One secret.

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...

A Note From the Publisher

Eric Rickstad is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the Canaan Crime series, The Silent Girls, The Names of Dead Girls, and Lie in Wait. He lives in Vermont with his wife, son, and daughter.

Eric Rickstad is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the Canaan Crime series, The Silent Girls, The Names of Dead Girls, and Lie in Wait. He lives in Vermont with his wife...

Advance Praise

“[An] exceptional thriller…Rickstad has raised his game to a new level.”

-Publishers Weekly (STARRED review)

"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.”

-Criminal Element

“This is the kind of story that lingers long after you’ve finished reading...”

-Portland Book Review

“[An] exceptional thriller…Rickstad has raised his game to a new level.”

-Publishers Weekly (STARRED review)

"Wicked and smart. Everything you want in a great thriller. A smart, very well written...

Marketing Plan

Major campaign for New York Times bestselling author Eric Rickstad

National print, TV, radio, and podcast media coverage

National print and digital ad campaign

Major showcase at library, publishing, and bookseller shows

Top crime/thriller media buzz, reviews, and features

Major bookseller merchandising / co-op

Author website: https: Rickstad.com

Twitter: @ericrickstad / Facebook: @ericrickstadauthor

Major campaign for New York Times bestselling author Eric Rickstad

National print, TV, radio, and podcast media coverage

National print and digital ad campaign

Major showcase at library...

Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook, Unabridged
ISBN 9781094000411
PRICE $19.95 (USD)
DURATION 7 Hours, 55 Minutes, 1 Seconds

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 114 members

Featured Reviews

Wayland is eight when he watches his dad kill himself, leaving a cryptic note. Eight years later, Wayland has a realization that sets him off on a chaotic search for what really happened. He'll come to regret ever getting involved.

This was crazy, twisted, and dark, and I loved it for it. My favorite type of mystery thrillers are ones where I immediately need to tell someone what happened and this did not disappoint. There were so many moments where I just stopped and got wide eyes from what I just heard. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. I can almost guarantee you that you will not predict the ending. It's the sort of book where almost throwaway comments or descriptions make so much sense after the ending. I listened to the audiobook and could not love the narrator more. It was almost hard to listen to at some points, because it really felt like Wayland telling his story. All I know is that I can't wait to talk about this with someone. For me, this book was a 4.5/5.

If you like really dark mysteries, want to scream obscenities with shock, or just like a good intriguing read, this is the one for you.

I received a copy of this audiobook free from NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing- Audiobooks in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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. Weber, as always does an exceptional job delivering the story

Was this review helpful?

Suspenseful, keeps you guessing until the very end. I Am Not Who You Think I Am is an unexpected and refreshing mystery that I could not figure out, despite my many efforts, until the finale. It was so good, I stopped many times to draw plot lines together, playing detective on my own. This kept me reading, wanting to learn this character's story and the twists and turns surround a particular incident that occurred in his life (don't want to give any spoilers!). The ending left me a bit dumbstruck but came together and wrapped things up succinctly. Great book!

Was this review helpful?

I Am Not Who You Think I Am
by Eric Rickstad
Audible Narrated by Steven Weber
A very dark look and family history and town history. The story based on a dying man's letter about his part in the deaths and fire that haunt the town. Eric Rickstad, formulates his characters to be so relatable, that understand their fear and their motivation. There is an interesting twist to the reasons and occurrences that draw the reader farther into the protagonist world. Steve Weber the narrator uses his voice to bring the inspiration of the characters to life.

Was this review helpful?

This book was INTENSE!!!

Wayland Maynard is our main character and this is written in the first person.

Wayland comes home from school when he is 8 and sees his father take his own life. As he grows he begins thinking more about the suicide. He remembers things about the day and begins trying to find answers. He goes out and recruits his two friends to help him figure out what really happened to his father.

Oh my GOODNESS!!! 😳😲 I was hooked and let me tell y'all, Wayland..... now, I thought he was going CRAZY!!! This kid took me on the craziest roller coaster I have been on lately!!! This book was SO FREAKIN' GOOD!!!! I was freaked out throughout and completely emersed!!!! Great writing, INSANELY good plot, great characters, crazy town, I mean... You guys.... Read this book!!!

Was this review helpful?

The Lie In Wait trilogy were some of my favorite books in this genre so when I saw Eric Rickstad has a new book out I immediately added it to my wishlist. I usually get denied ARCs and ALCs because I’m fairly new to actually reviewing the books I read beyond a star rating so I was pleasantly surprised when the publisher approved me for the ALC of this book.

I’m not going to give a synopsis because if you are already reading this, you most likely know what the book is about and have read the other reviews that start with the synopsis.

The book started out captivating and you are left wanting to know the same answers Wayland wants to know. The more he searches for answers the more questions he has and the angrier he gets. Rickstad is amazing at character development and describing the things the main character is seeing and feeling without it seeming like extra words on a page, it all flows lyrically together.

As the book went on, I didn’t know if we were going to get answers to his father’s suicide or if Wayland was suffering some sort of mental break from his past trauma that was going to get exceedingly worse until he had a complete breakdown. Regardless I couldn’t stop listening until I knew what that was going to be.

About 80% through the book I started thinking of possible scenarios for the ending and going through what I thought the conclusion would be. I was completely wrong on all accounts. The ending was not even on my radar and completely shocked me. Not only was it a jaw dropping ending, it was presented all neatly wrapped with a little bow and answered all the possible questions that readers are sometimes left with at the end of a book.

Steven Weber did an amazing job on this audiobook narration. I most recently listened to him play the part of Harlan Coben’s Win and I was concerned that hearing him narrator this book that I would picture Win in my mind but that never happened once.

Excellent audiobook. So grateful I was given a chance to listen and review before it’s release date. I cannot wait for the next book by Eric Rickstad.

Was this review helpful?

This book is by an author I have not yet discovered and I would now recommend after reading this novel. Thank you to Netgalley, Edelweiss and Eric Rickstad for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 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 Clay, he begins to investigate and try to discover the truth. I Am Not Who You Think I Am is a shattering tale of grief, obsession, and fate as those eight words lead to life changing events. The reader is 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. 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.

Was this review helpful?

How will it affect you if you see your father kill himself when you are 8 years old?
Wayland believes it wasn’t his father that killed himself. Is he correct or is it just wishful thinking. As he gets older he starts to distrust everybody. The people he feels that are lying to him are his mother, his best friend and his girlfriend. It goes from bad to worse. In his obsession he is not to be reasoned with. The complete picture of a teenager angry with the world
Determined to prove his father isn’t dead he digs up some past secrets that maybe better be left in the past.
This is a very suspenseful story that will keep you guessing till the end and I’m sure you will not guess the ending.
On the audio version the Narrator Steven Weber did an excellent job in delivering the story and made it come to its full potential.

Was this review helpful?

Another new author for me. Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook. A story filled with secrets, half truths and lies. Slow start, but the ending blew my mind.

Was this review helpful?

Wayland Maynard's life is flipped upside-down one day at the young age of 8. He was sent home sick from school but when he arrives home, something seems off. His father's truck is in the driveway still running, but he's nowhere in site. Upon further investigation, he finds his father sitting on his parents bed holding a gun. Just moments later, the gun is fired leaving Wayland standing there in the presence of his now deceased father. A single note lay on the floor stating "I am not who you think I am". Terrified of what it means as well as what just happened, Wayland takes the note, never telling a soul about it. Years later when he is a teenager, Wayland makes a minor discovery that leads to a turn of events which send his world spiraling into a past full of dark secrets and suspicions, causing him to question the true events of his fathers death. He is convinced that what he thought he saw lay far from the truth. He turns to his mother and an old friend of his fathers for answers but it only leads him to further suspicion that someone is determined to keep him from learning what really happened. With the help of his friends, he is determined to get to the bottom of it once and for all. What is his mother hiding? Will he ever be able to get the answers he so desires?
Thank you Netgalley, Blackstone Publishing-audiobooks and Eric Rickstad for the opportunity to read this amazing book! This book was pretty intense with some great twists and one hell of a mystery. I didn't see the ending coming at all. The narrator Steven Weber did a pretty good job and seemed to be the perfect match for this book. This book definitely had my attention grabbed from the start, making it hard for me to put it down. I would definitely recommend this book if you're looking for a good thriller/mystery. I rate this book ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

Was this review helpful?

Wow! Just wow!

After Weyland Maynard witnessed his father's suicide, he and his family were never the same. Weyland struggles to connect with anyone other than his best friend who is not always a good friend and is never a good influence. His sister searches for connection in an abusive relationship. His mother works long hours trying to hold her family together and bury the past. Weyland has always questioned the events surrounding his father's suicide, but when he digs for answers, the truth will harm him far more.

The author did a really good job of setting up what was to come and I did suspect some of it but really DID NOT see that ending coming. It was jarring but in a good way. Every revelation revealed a new mystery. This is such a page-turner. I was hooked up to the very last page.

I will definitely be following Eric Rickstad to see what he has in store in the future. Highly recommend this dark, twisty thriller.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to the publishers, author and NetGalley for the free copy of this audiobook.

Wow! I was not expecting this. I HAD to know what was going to happen next, I almost felt the mental anguish Wayland was feeling as the story unfolded. Crazy ending. I would definitely recommend!

Was this review helpful?

I Am Not Who You Think I Am is the story of Wayland and what he thinks he saw versus what actually happened. Wayland saw his father shoot himself at the age of 8, and everything has gone down hill from there. His little sister has a mean boyfriend, his mom works long hours, and Wayland has only one friend that he trusts.

As the years pass, 10 to be exact, Wayland starts to question what he saw that day, what really happened, and who he can trust. With the help of his old and new friends (Clayton and Juliet). As Wayland digs deeper into the past and new clues arrise, he struggles to make sense of what he knows, who he can trust, and what really happened the day his father shot himself.

This book has some nice plot twists in it, but it started off a bit slow. The beginning of the book seemed to have no direction, introducing new mean/emotional teens, everyone seeming nice then (potentially) hiding a secret, and nothing connected to what Wayland was feeling and searching for. About halfway through the book this changed and picked up pace; Wayland was making connections to clues he was finding, while he was slowly finding out that he couldn't trust many people around him. As the clues grow and less people support him, Wayland mak connections between his clues. Will he be able to find out what secret those close to him are hiding?

I rated this 4 stars as the beginning half of the book took a while to pick up. I loved that the ending was able to pull you in, tie everything together, and had me emotionally invested.

I'd like to say a huge thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

#reading2021 #fallreading2021 #audiobook #netgalley

Was this review helpful?

Lies and betrayal galore! I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad has it by the bucketloads. The story starts off a little slowly, but don't give up! It's such a fun and well-thought-out suspense thriller that I bet you'll be glad you stayed. Steven Weber's narration adds to the story and helps bring the characters to life as well.

Wayland is eight years old when he watches his father die, only leaving a scrap of paper behind with the words "I am not who you think I am" on it. If that isn't enough to screw anyone up, eight years later when Wayland is 16, he starts to uncover the truth of what the note really means and discovers that there are others that would prefer that particular secret to stay buried. Well, being a 16-year-old boy, Wayland, of course, enlists the help of his friends to uncover the truth. What happens next will keep you guessing and riveted to this audiobook until you've listened to the last word. There's twists and turns galore and it was such a fun, well-developed story. I'll definitely be looking for more from this author in the future.

Thanks so much to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. #iamnotwhoyouthinkiam #netgalley

Was this review helpful?

I Am Not Who You Think I Am, is an addicting mystery thriller with an excellent pace that kept me listening and finished it I'm totally gobsmacked by the conclusion!
This was my first Eric Rickstad novel and I love the quick and entertaining thrill.
Thank you Blackstone Publishing and Netgalley for this audiobook.
Available October 5, 2021

Was this review helpful?

I have several books by Eric Rickstad on my TBR list, however I Am Not Who You Think I Am is the first book that I have read by him and I've got to tell you that I AM NOT DISAPPOINTED! If all of his books are like this, I think I may have just found a new favorite author.

This book is all about family secrets and how they affect the lives of others. The secrets run deep and past your darkest imagination which is part of what makes this book so great! It will keep you guessing until the very end and then leave you feeling like you've just gotten off of one heck of a roller coaster ride that you just want to keep getting back on! It's that train wreck that you just can't cover your eyes...you keep watching with abated breath! Rickstad gives away little snippets but nothing that gives you anything close to the actual story until he smacks you in the face with it! Now THAT is my FAVORITE kind of book! AMAZING!!!!

Steven Weber is the narrator for this title and I kept chuckling to myself because I couldn't get past thinking about him playing on Wings for the longest time, but he really did a phenomenal job narrating this book! He really brought it a special kind of depth that not every narrator can bring!

Overall, I am super stoked that I read this book and will now bump up all of the other Rickstad books that I have in my pile because I have a feeling that this author is THE NEXT BEST THING!!!

I would like to offer a huge THANK YOU to Eric Rickstad, Blackstone Publishing and Netgalley for providing me I Am Not Who You Think I Am which allowed me to provide you with this honest and unbiased review!!

Was this review helpful?

WOW. This book had me on the EDGE of my seat the entire time and gave me such anxiety. I loved it. Wayland sees his dad commit suicide at the age of 8, now 17, he's investigating the death with his friends. He found a note that said "I am not who you think I am." laying on the floor when his dad shot himself. He has kept the note in his pocket ever since.
As he is investigating, so many crazy things are being uncovered and I honestly had no idea where this story was going. In the end, I didn't see ANY of it coming. This was just crazy.
The narration was fantastic and really made me feel the level of urgency the main character felt during so much of the book. I am sure that is why my heart was in my throat for most of this book. Thank you to Entangled, Netgalley and ERick Rickstad for an early audio copy.

Was this review helpful?

It’s in the title, we know this will be a mystery concerning identity. But the identity of whom? The story starts with a statement from the police department of a Vermont town concerning a manuscript they’ve recently received in the post. We’re given scant detail but warned that some of the content is disturbing. What follows is the story contained in the document. It takes us back to the mid-nineteen-eighties and introduces us to Wayland Maynard, a boy who at the age of eight witnessed the suicide of his father. At age sixteen he started to have doubts concerning what he actually saw that day. What follows is his account of what transpired.

Wayland lived with his often absent mother and his wayward younger sister. The small group of support characters we meet include his best friend Clay, his sister’s <i>scumbag</i> boyfriend and Juliette, a girl that Wayland fancies from afar but is afraid to approach. Wayland and Clay do what teenagers do, which includes snooping around and catching glimpses of events that titillate and disturb in equal measure. But Wayland’s real focus is in delving back into the events of that fateful day, armed with a piece of evidence he removed from the scene and has kept to himself ever since.

Having been furnished with the background we are now treated to a fairly detailed account of events which occur over a short period of time. Wayland, Juliette (who he is now at least engaging with) and Clay are all involved, though there seems to be little discernible structure to their efforts. By now the author is adopting a tone which is part gothic horror, with his recurrent use of grandiose and hyperbolic language, but tempered with intermittent sections which have a softer coming-of-age feel. It’s an interesting mix of moods we’re being we’re being teased to adopt. The story is well paced throughout but as pieces of the jigsaw start to fall into place it’s suddenly full speed toward a final reckoning. A big finish seems likely – and that’s exactly what we get.

There are some jaw dropping moments in this story, scenes that are truly shocking and at least one which is likely to prompt a double take from readers. But is it possible that there are just too many surprise revelations to fully process and accept? Perhaps, for some, but I think most readers will simply roll with the punches and soak it all up. At its heart it’s an old story, but it’s told in a way that feels fresh and new. It worked for me and managed to hold me in its grip throughout

Was this review helpful?

Wow! What a book! This was different than i expected. This was a great mystery with some thriller moments. It definitely had me turning the pages and so curious what was happening and who was he?! What happened and why!

I definitely did not guess how this was going to go or what would happen. It was a good story. I felt like it was deeper than i anticipated. This was such a dark and emotional tale. Very atmospheric and eerie and so hard to put down.

Was this review helpful?

Big thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for a chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Wow- this book is a head trip. It’s a mystery that kept me guessing to the very end, and at one point, made me gasp. I really felt bad for this family, they start as a happy nuclear family, then dad commits suicide, and then things get very very bad. Poor mom is working two jobs and falling further and further behind, and 15 year old Lydia is hooking up with a seriously bad dude. I love a unreliable narrator -17 year old Wayland provides that in spades! A decade later, he is still dealing with the trauma of witnessing his father suicide when we was just 8. He starts to suspect that perhaps what he saw was not his father blowing his head off, but someone else. As a self involved teen, he doesn’t notice his mother’s suffering, be does suspect that perhaps his mother is not telling the whole truth. As a reader I began to wonder is he mentally ill or is something more sinister going on? All will be answered in a satisfying conclusion.
I listened to the audio version and liked the narrator fine.

Was this review helpful?

I Am Not Who You Think I Am is a fast-paced thriller that will have you trying to discover the truth alongside the main character.

Wayland is 8 years old when he watches his father kill himself. He finds a note near his father's body that says, "I am not who you think I am". Wayland made it his mission to find out what this means and why this happened.

Wayland and his friends search for clues and try to put pieces together. They find secret messages scribbled in Wayland's father's books, secret's behind the town's most prominent family, and a tragedy surrounding Wayland's birth. His life is he knew it seems to have been a total lie.

He eventually gets the whole truth and regrets ever finding that note and setting out for answers. Wayland's reality is forever changed and he never could have seen it coming.

This book was suspenseful and had me feeling tense in parts. It was a great story about the grip grief can have on a person. I was genuinely shocked by the ending, but also felt a little cheated by it. It was just not at all what I was expecting or what I felt it could be. This doesn't make it bad, just...different.

It was a quick read/listen, and I enjoyed it. I will continue reading Eric Rickstad in the future.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you #netgallery for this book in exchange for an honest review. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The author kept me guessing with the twists. Face paced and not over the top. Great book.

Was this review helpful?

My review of this book can be summed up simply … “Wow! Didn’t see that coming!” Eric Rickstad has crafted a twisted tale of family secrets with a high level of suspense. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this advanced copy audio. Steven Weber is superb with his narration. Highly recommended!

Was this review helpful?

I Am Not Who You Think I Am is the story of Wayland and his fathers suicide. He finds a note but keeps it to himself. Years later, he remembers something that propels him to ask questions. Will he get the answers he is looking for?

I am so torn by so much in this book. I loved Eric Rickstad's writing. I love his design of this book written as a manuscript sent to the cops. I loved that there was this internal struggle with the main character the whole book and I wanted to just give him a hug. Until the precise moment that I didn't. That is when the moral dilemma occurs. I am still deciding whether I cant stand Wayland or feel bad for him? I am so torn in the best way. I finished this book days ago and I am still thinking about. The twists were so good. What I think I loved most is that Eric Rickstad gave you all the tools to solve it yourself. It wasn't one of those books where you are blindsided and had no idea it was coming. When the whole story is finally revealed you are like, " OMG HOW DID I MISS THIS????" So well done and I highly recommend this one!

Was this review helpful?

This book really keeps you guessing. Several times I was sure where this was going and I was often wrong. Love that. Wayland is a sympathetic character. He saw his father shoot himself. His mother had been practically absent ever since. She destroys or gives away everything that had anything to do with her husband. The reason was not what I was expecting. Small towns and their secrets, right?

Wayland was written in such a way that I could see many people in him. Some former students. My own brother as a teenager. A few cousins, even. You really want him to find the answers he is looking for. You really want him to find peace. The rest of the characters are almost unimportant. This is his story.

The pace is fast. You won't feel bogged down waiting for something to happen because something is always happening.

Thank you to all for allowing me to read this book.

Was this review helpful?

This was my first delve into the writing of Eric Rickstad, and I was absolutely blown away. Never could I have imagined the twisted, engrossing ending. Phenomenal! At eight years old, Wayland Maynard witnesses his father’s suicide. This event emotionally traumatizes Wayland beyond what anyone, even the reader, could imagine. By age 16, Wayland is certain that the suicide did not happen the way he reported it to the police. First, there’s a note he discovered on his father and secretly hid away, a note with the eight words “I am not who you think I am.” Second, he remembers the day his father accidentally sliced his ear when a very tall, intimidating man entered his dad’s barber shop after hours. In addition, Wayland is horrified that his mother got rid of every scrap of evidence that his father ever existed, all the way down to family photos. Wayland is coming undone and all the questions he directs towards his mother seem to cause her panic. With the help of a girl he has a crush on and a guy, who may or may not be his friend, he begins digging to discover who his father was and why nothing adds up. Wayland, however, is utterly unprepared for the ramifications of his obsessive search for the truth. Many thanks to Net Galley for providing me with an audio advanced reader copy. All of the opinions expressed here are my own.

Was this review helpful?

From my blog: Always With a Book:

I have been a fan of Eric Rickstad’s books for a while now and have been patiently waiting for his next book…so as soon as I saw this latest book coming out, I immediately requested it and I was not disappointed!

This is a dark and gritty book, yet I was captivated from the very start. It’s one that really kept me guessing all the way through and I loved the unique way it was presented – as a letter in the local newspaper. And then we get the full backstory to fill us in on just what transpired. And what a story it is…full of twists and turns that ends up taking us in a direction I did not see coming.

This is the type of book that each time we learn something, more questions arise. And I love that because it keeps me invested in the story and desperate to figure things out, though in this case, I never saw things playing out the way they did. A young boy is traumatized by an incident he witnesses when he is eight years old and has never quite gotten over. Years later, something comes to light that makes him question what he really saw that night and sends him on a mission to discover more about who his father really was.

One of the aspects I love about Eric Rickstad’s writing is his sense of place, and in this case, it’s really his sense of time. This book is set in the mid 1980’s and so Wayland must rely on public records and the library to aid his search efforts. There was no internet or cell phones back then. I also loved that the messages that Wayland finds from his dad were in library books. This story really does a great job showing just how important the library is.

This book is such a layered, complex story that delves into secrets and grief and how that impacts a family. It takes an emotional toll on you at times, yet it’s also full of teenage angst. It’s raw and uncomfortable and quite the intense reading experience – the anxiety I felt at times throughout the book is unreal! Having the story told from a teenage point of view makes for a interesting perspective, yet it really works here. It quite clearly shows this author is a master of his craft and able to spin a story that keeps you invested no matter that protagonist. And this is one I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Audio thoughts: This was narrated by Steven Weber and he did such a great job bringing this book to life. Even with the young protagonist, he was able to make the story sound believable. He got the teenage angst and he had an age-appropriate voice for Wayland and his friends – not too old and not too young. The story really translated well onto audio and I enjoyed listening to it.

Was this review helpful?

Wayland has just discovered that his dad might not be dead. But! How can this be! His father shot himself in front of Wayland when Wayland was just 8 years old. This sets him on a course of disaster and despair.

Wayland is a character which tore out my heart. There were times I wanted to reach out and hug him. Then there were times I wanted to pinch his head off. His life is a struggle and there are definitely ways in which he makes it worse.

This is a story you will not soon forget. I have read a couple of Eric Rickstad novels. And they have all been 5 star reads. He hit it out of the park with this one. This is unique, captivating and the intensity it over the top! And the narrator, Steven Weber is fantastic. His portrayal of Wayland could not have been better.

Need an intense family mystery…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Lies, deceit, and betrayal sum up this page-turner. A young man begins his journey in solving his father's mysterious death. Every time one question is answered, another one pops up. This book kept me guessing throughout the pages.

Was this review helpful?

Wayland was 8 years old when he saw his father commit suicide, now he is 16, and he keeps finding things that don't add up to what really happened to his father. He employs the help of 2 of his friends to help him figure out what the town will not say.
This dark thriller kept me interested from beginning to the end, with many twists and turns. Looking forward to reading more by Eric Rickstad.
Thanks Blackstone Publishing through NetGalley for this early opportunity (Publishing date October 5, 2021)

Was this review helpful?

This was such an entertaining psychological thriller! It was dark, gritty, twisted and incredibly clever!

Full of suspense and an abundance of misdirection, this one had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I was fully engaged as I felt a part of Waylands intense investigation and relished in uncovering the many shocking revelations!

I really enjoyed Rickstad’s diabolical mind and his writing style so I’m excited to read more from him!

𝙾𝚗𝚎 𝚜𝚎𝚌𝚛𝚎𝚝.
𝙴𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚌𝚛𝚢𝚙𝚝𝚒𝚌 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚍𝚜.
𝙻𝚒𝚏𝚎𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚛𝚞𝚒𝚗.

Was this review helpful?

Narrator Steven Weber is EXCELLENT makes the audio version totally engaging.
Book Review:

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.

Was this review helpful?

This book ended up being psychologically spooky which I wasn’t expecting. This book was hard to put down and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time!

Wayland has never gotten over the death of his father when he was a child and the note he left saying “I am not who you think I am” that 8 year old Wayland never showed anyone. But now as a 16 year old Wayland has questions about that day, about his father and about who he is. But those answers may come with danger. Wayland is confused about so much that he may act without thinking.

I don’t want to give too much away this was an excellent book that I honestly requested from NetGalley because of the narrator Steven Weber however now I will be digging in to this authors back list of books because I enjoyed the authors style!

Steven Weber’s narration was as always amazing!

4 stars

I received this book from the publisher Blackstone Audio and NetGalley for a fair and honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This was definitely a disturbing and twisted story filled with unimaginable family secrets and lies. Wayland Maynard witnessed his father's death at age 8. He finds a note at his deceased father's feet but tells no one about the note that reads "I am not who you think I am." This message as well as what he witnessed will haunt him until he is a teenager and becomes determined to discover the meaning of the note no matter the costs. There are so many intensely emotional scenes of abuse and neglect that Wayland experiences causing him to not trust anyone. The author and narrator both do an amazing job keeping the reader wanting to get through all the uncomfortable and sometimes stomach twisting moments to solve the mystery.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: