Category Archives: Eric Rickstad

Review: I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad

Title: I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Genre: Historical (80s), Mystery, Thriller
Length: 276 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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.


I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad is a bleak yet engrossing psychological thriller.

In 1976, eight-year-old Wayland Maynard witnesses his father’s suicide. He discovers a cryptic note that he conceals from everyone, including his mother. Fast-forward to 1984 and the Maynard family is barely hanging on. Wayland’s younger sister Lydia is involved in a toxic relationship with a much older boyfriend. They barely see their mother who works double shifts that barely provide for the family. After Wayland remembers an odd detail about his father’s death, he decides to try to understand the meaning of the suicide note.  Why did his father leave a note that reads, “I am not who you think I am”? Equally confusing and painful, why did his mother remove every trace of his father?

Wayland’s friendship with Clay is already strained when he tells him about his decision to investigate his father’s death. Angered by Clay’s response, Wayland begins his search on his own. Almost immediately, he runs in to his classmate and crush Juliette Lancaum. He accepts her surprising offer to help him but their partnership is rocky because of her unreliability. Wayland is undeterred as he sets out to prove that his theory about what happened to his father is true. He has a short fuse and he is quick to lash out at the people who care about him. His mother’s questions unleash unexpected frustration and rage that he finds difficult to control. As he edges closer to finding the truth, Wayland spirals into a dark frame of mind that results in shocking decisions that will forever haunt him.

I Am Not Who You Think I Am is a gripping mystery that moves at a brisk pace. Wayland is a sympathetic character who turns out to be his own worst enemy. He slowly but steadily unravels his family’s secrets but is he prepared for what he is about to unearth? With diabolical twists and jaw-dropping turns, Eric Rickstad brings this atmospheric thriller to a poignant conclusion.

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Filed under Blackstone Publishing, Eric Rickstad, I Am Not Who You Think I Am, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Thriller

Review: What Remains of Her by Eric Rickstad

Title: What Remains of Her by Eric Rickstad
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Girls comes this chilling, harrowing thriller set in rural Vermont about a recluse who believes the young girl he’s found in the woods is the reincarnation of his missing daughter, returned to help him solve her and his wife’s disappearance.

I won’t say a word. Cross my heart and hope to die…

Jonah Baum, a professor of poetry at a local college in Vermont, sees his ordinary life come tumbling down when his wife and young daughter vanish from their home. No evidence of a kidnapping. No sign of murder. No proof that Rebecca didn’t simply abandon her marriage. Just Sally’s crude and chilling drawings, Jonah’s little lies, and the sheriff’s nagging fears that nothing is what it seems.

For Sally’s best friend, Lucinda, it’s something else. She trusts in Sally not to just disappear, not after they’ve shared so many secrets—especially about the woods and what they saw there. But she’ll never tell. No one would believe her anyway.

As the search for Rebecca and Sally intensifies, and as suspicion falls on Jonah, the disappearances become more relentlessly haunting than anyone can imagine. Because what’s seen in the light of day is not nearly as terrifying as what remains hidden in the dark…


What Remains of Her by Eric Rickstad is an electrifying mystery set in rural Vermont.

Jonah Baum returns home from work one evening to discover his wife Rebecca and seven year old daughter Sally have disappeared.  He quickly contacts his friend and neighbor Sheriff Maurice Welch who rapidly organizes a search party to look for the missing duo. With no evidence to go on, Maurice calls in the state police to aid in the investigation. Jonah is their number one (and practically) only suspect and despite the Sheriff’s best efforts to protect him, the cloud of suspicion lingers over Jonah long after the case goes cold.

Unable to function yet remaining hopeful Rebecca and Sally will one day return home, Jonah retreats from society and lives a solitary life in an abandoned cabin deep in the woods. Twenty-five years later, he sporadically maintains contact with Maurice’s daughter and Sally’s best friend, Lucinda. Despite the passage of time, she still struggles with the unanswered questions about her missing friend. Working as a part-time deputy, a case in the present brings up those long ago memories and Lucinda makes a stunning discovery that completely upends her world.

Jonah still bears the scars of his horrific childhood but with Maurice’s help, he has gained control of his volatile emotions. At the time Rebecca and Sally disappear, they are struggling to make ends meet and there is tension between Jonah and his wife. When questioned by Maurice and the state police, Jonah carefully edits his answers which contributes to the suspicions he might have hurt his wife and child. With absolutely no evidence to support the police’s theory and no new leads, Jonah never gives up hope Rebecca and Sally will be found.

Lucinda’s life is forever changed by the unsolved disappearance of Sally and Rebecca. Now in her early thirties, the chance to make a childhood dream come true is within her grasp when an urgent new case demands all of her attention. In the course of this investigation, she is distracted by her memories of Sally. Never expecting to find new information about her missing friend in the long cold case, Lucinda is absolutely flabbergasted by her unexpected discoveries.

What Remains of Her is a spellbinding mystery with a compelling storyline and a cast of multi-layered characters. The plot is intricately executed and the setting is quite atmospheric. Eric Rickstad builds the tension and suspense to a fever pitch and brings this incredible mystery to a twist-filled and shocking conclusion that will completely satisfy readers. I highly recommend this enthralling novel to fans of the genre.

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