I Am Pilgrim -Terry Hayes

I am Pilgrim

My life has shifted on its axis. I finally delved into Terry Hayes tome, I am Pilgrim and now everything must change. I have to clear out my bookshelf and put this fantastic novel on a shelf all by its self while I ponder everything I just read. So move over Ludlum, shove over Lehane, there’s a new boy on the block and he’s bad (I mean “bad” in the colloquial sense, as in “Damn Good”).

It’s a hefty novel, but that’s no deterrent, as I wish it were even longer. The novel centres on the protagonist Scott Murdoch? (The question mark becomes relevant once you’ve read the novel) who is an American spy, agent, deep, deep undercover operative etc. He is on a race to save the world from a biological attack and time is ticking, and in his spare time he solves a New York murder case –Ha, I love it!

Terry Hayes is a man who knows his craft. This may be his debut novel,but Google his biography and you’ll see he has serious cred. His plotting is very tight and complex; the writing is intelligent and suspenseful. I sat in the waiting room at Toyota while I had new tyres fitted, and my hands were tightly gripping the book as I read the final chapters.

Here’s a puzzle:

How long does it take Toyota to fit two new tyres?

Two hours.

At the end of the two hours I was at a pivotal point in the story, the Toyota man called my name. I put my hand up to silence the annoying man and resumed biting my nails and my eyes continued to rapidly scan the pages. I came to a suitable place to stop, raced home and finished the book.

Like any great book it is still lingering in my thoughts. Hayes has created a hero that we haven’t seen since Jason Bourne, and I hope to see a lot more of him.

This is a suspense novel that deals with sensitive and serious subjects and it is handle with respect, skilled observation and the critique of a good journalist. Hayes doesn’t dictate to the reader he is a masterful storyteller and the reader is taken on a thrilling journey.

NB: This is an adult novel, if considering for a teen reader note that it does contain some torture scenes, although it is not an overly graphic novel.

Catch a Q&A with Terry Hayes here: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/blog/top-writing-tips-from-debut-thriller-writer-terry-hayes-2167.aspx

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6 thoughts on “I Am Pilgrim -Terry Hayes

  1. Haha! I love the idea of you telling the Toyaota man to wait while you read on! Other reviews have made me feel this one might be a bit too violent and grim for me, but I don’t get that impression quite so much from your review…hmm! Tempted…

    • There are two ‘waterboarding’ scenes, but i think Hayes has written a book that isn’t glorifying violence in any way (something which I abhor) I feel he hasn’t gone into any unnecessary detail, like “Alex” or “girl with the dragon Tattoo”. The are moments that make you sad, upset, angry, maybe it’s the journalist in Hayes, but he tells it like it is. It is very similar to “The Bourne Identity” if you liked that then you’ll like this.

      • I haven’t read “The Bourne Identity” either but I’m tempted to give this one a try – when I can fit another one in. I don’t object to graphic violence so long as it’s necessary to the story and not lovingly lingered over. I was put off “Alex” for exactly the reason that it seemed as if the violence was the main feature.

        Thanks for another great thought-provoking review! 😀

  2. I was just catching back up on my Reader list and was reminded why it is so dangerous for me to look at your reviews!

    My TBR list is ever-growing, although, after checking out some of the other reviews, I suspect that this one might be a bit violent for my tastes. This is a bit of a paradox because I love taut, masterfully written thrillers, so I’ll have to wait until I have more time and decide then.

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