I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes

There is no doubt about it, ‘I Am Pilgrim‘ is a massive tome of a book, 892 pages to be precise.  Don’t let the size put you off.  It is a fantastic, action packed romp, one that I had to savour and digest, take my time with and enjoy. Now that I’ve finished it I feel bereft.

It is an intelligent, action packed thriller that grabbed me and kept me hooked right to the very end.  The story has lots of little strands and I wasn’t sure how they would come together at the end.  I knew they had to, but I wasn’t sure how this would happen or  what one strand had to do with the others.  For me that’s the mark of a good thriller.

The story starts with the murder of a woman in a Manhattan hotel room and moves on to  a young boy who sees his father publicly beheaded in Saudi Arabia.  All parts of the story are relevant and not a single scene was wasted.  In the end it all comes together with a loud ‘clang’ as the penny drops and you realise what is going on and the story falls into place.

The narrator is a spook who goes by many different names, one of them being Scott so for the purposes of this review I will refer to him as Scott.

I love Scott’s voice.  He is candid and honest, telling the story in a pragmatic manner without a hint of self-pity.  Things simply are how they are.

Parts of the book which are a very unsavoury but Scott doesn’t shy away from talking about them or his involvement in the situation.  Quite simply the acts were necessary to get the job done.  The ends justified the means.

I liked the fact that although Scott would have liked to meet somebody (a woman) there wasn’t a token love interest, although there easily could have been.  The story was a lot more pragmatic than that.  It s a story of international espionage and national security. Love is a weakness that can be exploited.

I felt that the end left it open for there to be more books in the Pilgrim series.  I hope there is.  Scott Murdoch (or whatever he is calling himself in the future) could easily become another Bourne.

Terry Hayes is a very talented writer and I wasn’t surprised to find that he has worked as a screenwriter.  I’m very much looking forward to his next offering ‘The Year of the Locust‘ which is due to be released on 20th April 2017 (according to Amazon).