I Am Not Who You Think I Am

Blackstone. Oct. 2021. 260p. ISBN 9781094000336. $25.99. THRILLER
In Rickstad’s (What Remains of Her) 1984-set thriller, 16-year-old Wayland Maynard is still traumatized by his father’s suicide, which he witnessed as an eight-year-old. He lives on the fringes of the small Vermont village of Shireburne with his mother and sister, and the family barely scrapes by. Wayland is keeping a secret: eight years ago, he found a note near his father’s body, bearing the cryptic message “I am not who you think I am.” Wayland is convinced that the man who died that afternoon was not his father. Now he launches his own investigation, digging into the twisted past of the Vanders family, scions of Shireburne society who owned the dilapidated mansion in the woods outside of town. Someone out there will stop at nothing to keep Wayland from learning the history of his father’s birth and death.
VERDICT 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.
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