I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
Narrator: Christopher Ragland
Length: 22 hrs and 42 mins
Date Read: June 2014
Genre: Military Thriller, Thriller
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.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon and Schuster
Read/Listened for Review (Simon and Schuster)
Overall Rating : 3.50
Character Rating: 3.25
Story Rating : 3.75
Audio Rating : 3.50
First Thought when Finished: I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes was a wonderful thriller bogged down by to many details.
Story Thoughts: I really loved the case at the center of I am Pilgrim! I thought it was exciting, edgy, topical, and gripping. I didn’t quite figure out what was going on and that alone made the book worth reading. The only problem for me was the massive amounts of detail slowed down the pacing and at times took me out of the story. I had to switch over from the audiobook to the book because I kept missing important parts buried in details. That made I am Pilgrim a bit of a slog to read. Worth it but a bit brutal.
Character Thoughts: Let me state up front: In thrillers I don’t need to “like” or “identify” with the main character. In fact, all I need is for them to be extremely good at their job which Scott (Pilgrim) is. The thing that brought down the character rating for I am Pilgrim is too many things went his way even when he screwed up (which I wouldn’t have known but it was pointed out in all the details). I need my leading guys to be human too! So if they are chasing the wrong man there needs to be consequences. I did love the side characters though! I wished that Ben Bradley would have actually been in the book more. His character is particularly compelling! The bad guys were layered, multi-faceted, and evil. Just like I like them. So overall, Simon might grow on me (I plan on reading more if this turns into a series) but in this one he was a bit to “lucky”.
Narrated By Christopher Ragland / Length: 22 hrs and 42 mins
I don’t think Christopher did a bad job. In fact, I thought his voice and pacing were perfect for I am Pilgrim. However, in this case with the massive amounts of detail this is a hard one to listen to on audio unless you can dedicate hours of listening time at once. If you have a long commute this would work but for short listening jaunts, I am Pilgrim is better suited for reading. (This was my commute listen but I only have 25 min each way–not long enough).
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed I am Pilgrim even with my detail issues!
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