46. ‘I am Pilgrim’ by Terry Hayes.

What a book! If you like a good thriller, you will love this – it is non stop action from the beginning to the end, and I found it very hard to put down.

Mum started reading this during her final illness, and thoroughly recommended it to me. Sadly, she didn’t get to finish it, but I know she was enjoying it. What’s not to enjoy about a fast paced thriller, although I do have a couple of issues, which I’ll touch on in a moment.

This is Mr Hayes first novel, and I hope it won’t be his last. He has had a long and successful career as a screenwriter, and I wonder if it is that experience that produced such a page turner as this..there are no boring parts!

Here’s the blurb from the back cover….

‘A young woman murdered in a run-down Manhattan hotel. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering sands of Saudi Arabia. A man’s eyes stolen from his living body as he leaves a secret Syrain research laboratory. Smouldering human remains on a mountainside in the Hindu Kush. A plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity. One thread that binds them all. One man to take the journey. Pilgrim.’

I know, it’s a bit LOTR…but holy macaroni, this really does MOVE, including around the world, and the details about the different countries are good. The plot in a nutshell; a terrorist is trying to unleash smallpox on the world, and it’s our hero’s job to stop him.

However. Here are my issues. Firstly, it is a bit Islamophobic, and ‘Thank goodness for America’-ish, which grates for me personally. In a post 9/11 world, it is easy as a Westerner to assume that most Muslims are out to get you – seriously, they’re mostly not. And secondly, the hero, Pilgrim, is more Dirk Pitt than James Bond –  if that makes sense. He does spend a lot of time telling you how brilliant he is. Bond just knew he was.

But if what you’re looking for is a ripping yarn that will keep you turning the pages well past bedtime, or make a long flight pass really quickly, then this is the thriller for you, and, despite my reservations above, I do thoroughly recommend it!

As I said, Mum didn’t finish this, so it doesn’t have her initials and date inside the front cover – she always did that when she had finished a book. But I did, I enjoyed it, and I’d love to gift it forward, so please get in touch either here or through the Facebook page if you’d like it, and I’ll send it on to you!