Sunday, 15 June 2014

Book Review - I am Pilgrim - Terry Hayes

"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."

This is the book that broke my reading hiatus and I had tried lots of different books. 12 Years a Slave, Labyrinth, The Kill Room, In the Blood were all discarded as unreadable at the moment but this book I really enjoyed. It was one of easy action thrillers, never a literary classic but a good read all the same.

What makes it most interesting, which I guess is the case for with most books, are the characters. Ben Bradley is your typical New York cop who turns out to not be so typical and your terrorist is everything you think he should be and also everything you think he shouldn't. In a world of secret espionage it is difficult to tell the good men from the bad. This books made me consider the ideas behind terrorism and whether all terrorists are inherently "bad people" or does something cause people to become a terrorist? This book would definitely suggest the latter.

While the story begins as a simple murder mystery this book travels the globe through terrorism, secrecy and politics and brings you to the edge of your seat.

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