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Tell Me Who You Are: Book summary and reviews of Tell Me Who You Are by Louisa Luna

Tell Me Who You Are

A Novel

by Louisa Luna

Tell Me Who You Are by Louisa Luna X
Tell Me Who You Are by Louisa Luna
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  • Published Jun 2024
    352 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

The Silent Patient meets Gone Girl in this sharp psychological thriller about a psychiatrist with a shocking past and her dangerous new patient.

Brooklyn psychiatrist Dr. Caroline Strange is certain she knows what's best for her patients, her family, and pretty much everyone else, but that all changes when a troubled young man arrives for his appointment and makes a pair of alarming confessions: I am going to kill someone, and I know who you really are.

Dr. Caroline is accustomed to hearing her patients' deepest, darkest secrets, but it seems Nelson Schack may be one step ahead when detectives show up later that day, inquiring about a missing woman. It looks like Nelson has made good on his threat―yet somehow it's Dr. Caroline who becomes the prime suspect.

Convinced the police are incompetent, Dr. Caroline takes matters into her own hands, chasing down the elusive Nelson and running headlong into a past she has spent her entire life trying to forget. As she closes in on her target, all the polished pieces of her manicured life splinter when people begin to question who she really is.

Harrowing, unpredictable, and compulsively readable, the award-winning author Louisa Luna's Tell Me Who You Are is an utterly gripping psychological thriller that begs the question: Can a person ever really outrun their past?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Seriously creepy cat-and-mice games ensue when a sharp-thinking therapist tries to track down a patient who may also be a kidnapper ... [A] page-turning, twisted thriller." ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Cunning ... Lisa Gardner fans, take note."  ―Publishers Weekly

"Tell Me Who You Are is the best sort of thriller―caustic, dynamic, unsettling, and scary. Louisa Luna's novel is sharp as a blade and hard to put down." ―Ivy Pochoda, author of Sing Her Down

"Tell Me Who You Are is propulsive. Louisa Luna gives us rich characters, sharp dialogue, and a story that will keep you guessing―and thinking―right up to the last page. I loved this book." ―James Kestrel, Edgar award-winning author of Five Decembers

"This fantastic novel is like going out drinking with your sharpest, sexiest, most dangerous friend, and getting into trouble that's both unexpected and inevitable. Dr. Caroline Strange is a terrific and terrifying protagonist, the interwoven plots lines are propulsive, and the voice is absolutely riveting." ―Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of Two Nights in Lisbon

"Tell Me Who You Are absolutely glimmers with tension. Every page is as compelling and sharp as a blade to the ribs. Louisa Luna masterminds a virtuosic puzzle―this book kept me guessing all the way up to the end." ―Natalka Burian, author of The Night Shift

This information about Tell Me Who You Are was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Cloggie Downunder

a cleverly-plotted page-turner.
Tell Me Who You Are is the fourth stand-alone novel by award-winning American author, Louisa Luna. During the twenty years she has been a psychiatrist, Dr Carolne Strange’s patients have confided many unusual things in the safe space she provides in the basement of her Brooklyn Brownstone, but what her newest patient, Nelson Schack tells her is certainly unique: in virtually the same breath, he says that he is going to kill someone, and that he knows who Caroline really is.

It's not until Detective Makeda Marks and her sidekick, Detective Miguel Jiminez come to her door to question her about the disappearance of journalist Ellen Garcia that she decides it merits breaking patient confidentiality to mention part of Nelson’s statement. Ellen Garcia included Dr Caroline in a highly critical article on doctors, and any of those targeted might hold a grudge. Some days after putting out her recycling on the kerb, Ellen is very surprised to come to in a dark basement, thirsty, hungry and afraid.

Dr Caroline (as she likes patients to call her) doesn’t reveal the extent of her communication with Ellen. Nor does she mention a well-publicised incident from her youth: Caroline really wants the police to focus on Nelson, rather than looking at her, as they seem to want to do…

In 1993 in Glen Grove, Wisconsin, Gordon Strong has just lost his brewery job, something that contributes to a downward spiral that involves drinking to excess and a paranoid delusion that his wife is having an affair with their neighbour, Chuck Strange. When his control finally breaks, and he murders his family with a pair of garden shears, then hangs himself, the only survivor is the neighbour’s teenaged daughter, on a sleep-over with her best friend.

Luna easily evokes her era and setting, and the reason that her main protagonist seems initially to live up to her name becomes clear as the story progresses. It is told over two timelines and from three perspectives: Caroline Strange, Ellen Garcia and Gordon Strong.

None of the characters are particularly nice people: Caroline’s nicknames for her patients seem to contradict the care she professes to feel for them; Gordon is clearly a lazy, entitled chauvinist, a toxic male; and, while she’s an innocent victim who in no way deserves what happens to her, Ellen does lack journalistic integrity. It gradually becomes clear that the reliability of at least two of the narratives is questionable, which serves to keep the reader thoroughly invested in the outcome. Often blackly funny, Luna’s latest is a cleverly-plotted page-turner.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.

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Author Information

Louisa Luna

Louisa Luna is the author of several novels, including the Alice Vega series. She received the 2023 Sue Grafton Memorial Award for her novel Hideout. She was born and raised in San Francisco and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughter.

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