Review: I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

I Am PilgrimA non-attributable: 5 out of 5 stars

My version:
Fiction, thriller.
Transworld Publishers
Bought from Waterstones

A young woman murdered in a run-down Manhattan hotel.

A father publicly beheaded in the blistering sun of Saudi Arabia.

A man’s eyes stolen from his living body as he leaves a secret Syrian research laboratory.

Smouldering human remains on a mountainside in the Hindu Kush.

A plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

One thread binds them all.

One man to take the journey.


Stunned. Is how I was when I finished this. Reluctantly finished, at that. Even after 900-odd pages.

Actually, I couldn’t have been more stunned if it had fallen on my head from a great height.

Excellently put together, written and executed, it has all the elements a modern thriller should have. Strong, well-grounded plot (no James Bond super villains nonsense here), relevant themes, action, suspense, bits where you have to have your wits about you and bits where you wish you’d had more of your wits about you, earlier.

I can’t really recall why I bought this in the first place. It’s not like I haven’t got a zillion in my TBR pile already. Maybe the I Am Pilgrim title reminded me of I Am Legend, maybe because there’s a sticker with “The only thriller you need to read this year” from The Guardian on the front of my version. They’d be right. They might not be able to get football right, but they seem to know their thrillers. I can’t think of a better one I’ve read the whole year.

I loved it, absolutely loved it. All the way through. Maybe not having to finish it and put it down. But otherwise…

Go buy it, and hole yourself up for a few days.

And no surprise that there’s a film in the pipeline (though how long that pipeline will turn out to be, we’ll have to wait and see).


Buy I Am Pilgrim at The Book Depository

Me, on Goodreads

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