I am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Review, thriller

i am pilgrimIn New York a woman is found floating face down in a bath of sulphuric acid, her teeth removed and the room spayed with antiseptic.  It was a textbook murder, committed the exactly the way described in an obscure forensic investigative manual written by a dead FBI agent.

Scott Murdoch doesn’t exist.  The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once was the head of a secret espionage unit for US intelligence.  Now disappeared into anonymous retirement he is tracked down NYPD detective Ben Bradley, who links him to the manual.

Someone has replicated the perfect murder the book described.    They conduct an investigation that takes them to the Turkish coast.  At the same time there is a huge threat against America, so huge only ten people know about it.  Scott must track it down, and with Ben’s help, neutralise it.

What a ride!  This took awhile to finish as the chapters are short and it’s easy to put down then pick up where you left off.  The plot is very clever, intricately wound and seamlessly slotting together.  As bits of the plot come together and there’s a new revelation, you think ‘of course!’. The ch0aracters are real and you quickly get drawn into their lives and ‘experience’ what is happening to them.  They are well developed and sympathetic. The action is constant and provides a glimpse into investigator’s lives and the intelligent agent mindset.  Its breathtaking how quickly the story moves along and is yet not rushed.

Very very cleverly written by a terrific debut author.  I look forward to his next book.

Bantam Press

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

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