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I Am Pilgrim [Paperback]

Terry Hayes
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,293 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

8 May 2014

Can you commit the perfect crime?

Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn't exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation.

But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder - and Pilgrim wrote the book.

What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a journey from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruins on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (8 May 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0552160962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552160964
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,293 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"THRILLER OF THE WEEK. Delivers thrills and spills...A full tilt mix of Homeland, The Wire and The Bourne Ultimatum" (Mail on Sunday)

"I Am Pilgrim is a 21st century thriller: a high concept plot, but with finely drawn protagonists. The plot twists and turns like a python in a sack. The style is visceral, gritty and cinematic...A satisfying and ambitious book, written with skill and verve" (Adam LeBor The Times)

"Rendition yourself into a pulsating thriller that never lets up as it carries the hero and the reader on an ever more desperate race between time and an all too plausible disaster for the world we live in. Great nail-biting stuff!" (Robert Goddard)

"The narrative is thrilling: the tension tightens with action...It's a murder mystery, an illuminating account of contemporary international politics and a study of an unusual man......An excellent thriller which as a first novel is really remarkable" (Literary Review)

"I Am Pilgrim takes the modern spy novel and pushes it screaming and kicking into the twentieth-first century. With a stunning sense of plot, beautifully detailed writing, huge ambition and even huger talent, Hayes has produced one of the most memorable novels of recent times. This is a frightening, pulse-pounding journey into the future of terrorism and the brave new world we've been ushered into. Amazingly assured and complex, this is one of the best debut novels I've ever read" (Stav Sherez)

Book Description

The Day of the Jackal meets Homeland with a dash of Bourne - a debut thriller to take your breath away

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bond meets Reacher: a fantastic read 27 July 2013
By Manda Scott VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you spend enough time at literary festivals, you come to fear and loathe the 'goody bag' - a delightfully marketed sling-bag full of books you never want to read and don't quite know what to do with.

Until it isn't that: the goody bag at Harrogate Crime Fest last weekend contained a small 'taster' booklet that offered the first chapter of I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. I read it late on Saturday night, bought the book on Sunday and started reading it on Monday. I finished it late last night and it's been a fantastic week's read: a big, solid, chunky, fast-paced, rip-roaring thriller, the love child of a manic union between Jack Reacher and James Bond.

The pace and international flavour shouldn't be a surprise: from the start, this reads like the book of the film and that film will be a blockbuster. This is a debut novel, and (sorry, this is a cliche, but it's true) an astonishing feat that makes sense when we know that the author has been a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, covered the Watergate scandal and went on to be a screenwriter on such luminaries as Mad Max 2, Payback and Bangkok Hilton. So when we have Bondian 'hero escapes from insuperable odds' scenes set in giant warehouses with ships on gantries being sent hither and thither and our hero hanging by one arm, desperately trying not to be recognised by the Turkish police... it's easy to imagine it on a big screen with all the action and adrenaline and testosterone.

But the book isn't all that: the premise is clever.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read 15 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am not usually into blockbuster thrillers but I bought this book on the basis of the great reviews it had and also because it was long, and I had some bus journeys ahead of me.
I wasn't disappointed at all. The story is absolutely gripping, I didn't feel like putting the book down at any time; on the contrary, I was compelled to keep reading. I found it a little hard to get into it in the beginning as the opening scene is extremely graphic, and I was a tad worried it might continue that way. However, the book soon moves into classic action territory, with the hero, who I was very sympathetic too, travelling to Turkey and other countries in pursuit of a terrorist. I found the plot believable, and I could understand the motivations of the different protagonists. Also, I wasn't able to predict some of the plot twists, nor did I think Hayes went for a Hollywood ending. Hayes shows a lot of skill in this novel; he follows the classic structure of the genre, but succeeds nonetheless in elevating his book above the rest.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I am the greatest spy in the world, so ner. 18 Aug 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really need to stop reading reviews of books. I am Pilgrim was not the sort of book I’d usually pick up. I’m not averse to the odd thriller, especially on holiday, but the whole Macho thing really doesn’t do it for me. This one seemed a bit different though, so I gave it a try.
It’s a big old book, but has handily short chapters for the short of attention. Handy for reading on a long car journey.
The premise is basically as follows: The greatest spy in the world has retired at the grand old age of 34, but has been lured back into the game by an heroic, patriot who saved thousands of lives in 9/11. He is initially investigating a murder, but is sucked in to a plot to find a Saudi Arabian who is about to create a holocaust of innocent Americans by synthesising a super-deadly Small-Pox virus in his garage. Interspersed with this is a lot of angst about what the greatest spy in the world used to do in his early days and about how his traumatic childhood (mother killed; adopted by billionaires and given a prilvileged upbringing) still affects him.

I will admit, I enjoyed the pace and the sheer bonkersness of the plot, but became increasingly unsettled by the rampant Islamophobia and lazy writing throughout. For a highly educated government official, much of the protagonist’s comments appeared to come straight fromt eh mouth of a furriner-hating Sun reader. I found myself increasingly unsure about whether it was the author’s point of view I was seeing; the protagonist’s or America’s. One part of the novel, where people are going to be profiled at airports, states that it will be ‘difficult for muslims’. Why?Does one’s religion appear on one’s passport now?
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75 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read 19 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I started this book on holiday having read several other crime/espionage books in the course of the trip. This stood out head and shoulders above the rest and is with reflection the best book of the genre I have read for some years.

The narrative style is compelling and although the story builds through a complex plot you are pulled through it by short chapters, well selected hooks and a momentum to the plot that leaves you not wanting to switch the light out.

I can't recommend this book enough and although only just published I now want his next work!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read
Brilliant read. Couldn't put it down.
Published 50 minutes ago by Helen Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book! Highly entertaining and gripping - I couldn't ...
Fabulous book! Highly entertaining and gripping - I couldn't put it down. It's worrying to think someone can create........ (I won't give the story away)........ Read more
Published 8 hours ago by Sue'sViews
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic book of huge scale
This superb book has you gripped from the start to the finish. An amazing read and one not to ignore.
Published 8 hours ago by S Hall
4.0 out of 5 stars Bond meets Bourne
First half of the book, build up to the background and the characters, is almost a book in its own right. Read more
Published 10 hours ago by Stu
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book for a while
The best book i've read for quite some time - it's already written to be given to a cinema director and I look forward to the movie, Fantastic character development and good plot.
Published 11 hours ago by peter
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great page turner; interest the whole way thru with some great twists!
Published 13 hours ago by Geoff M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down
Although this book contains a lot of violence,I was still hooked. There are many threads to the story which all come together. Read more
Published 13 hours ago by ms s langley
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
Wow! A long time since I have read a thriller/ spy / global / topical novel such as this! Didn't want to put it down but didn't want it to finish either!
Published 14 hours ago by NormaDeee
5.0 out of 5 stars this has got to be one off the most exciting, compelling reads of all...
A masterly piece of writing, thoughtful, inventive, never predictable. Surely this has to be a box office hit as a movie.
Published 19 hours ago by Mr. C. J. Abrahams
5.0 out of 5 stars For a first novel all I can say is I can't wait for his second, third,...
In the Jack Reacher logical vein, I thoroughly enjoyed this thriller.
Published 23 hours ago by Stuart Hermelin
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