Tuesday, 18 February 2014

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

review by Maryom

Pilgrim is the code name of a former secret ops guy, sometimes known as Peter or Scott or a variety of other aliases, who having retired from the dangerous world of espionage has written a book on how to commit the perfect murder. He's beginning to wish he hadn't as someone appears to have read it, taken notes and be using it as a manual. From a textbook murder in New York, Peter or Scott or Pilgrim becomes involved in the hunt for a killer intent on carrying out not just one murder but the mass eradication of all Americans.

I'd better come straight out and say that despite all the excellent reviews I've read for this book, I Am Pilgrim didn't turn out to be my kind of spy-novel. I thought, with the murder scene that opens the book, that I was going to enjoy it but once matters moved on to the spying-game things went downhill for me. Anyone within ear-shot of me while I was reading it will know how many times I've found plot-holes or commented on this supposed super-spy's lack of 'tradecraft'; for a supposed master of his craft, Pilgrim didn't half make a lot of mistakes. The plot relies too much on coincidence and a lot of the detection seems based on guess work. It's definitely more of an action-adventure than I'd expected and if I'd been carried along by the action, I think these things would have niggled less - but sadly I wasn't, so they did.

Pilgrim doesn't have the intellectual insight of Smiley, the down to earth world weariness of Charlie Muffin, the cynicism of Harry Palmer or the glamour of Bond. Sorry, not my kind of spy-thriller at all.

Maryom's review - 3 stars
Publisher -
Bantam Press
Genre -
adult, thriller,

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