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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Terry Hayes - I Am Pilgrim

I have just finished this amazing epic of a book and now feel bereft!  It has consumed me for weeks, once I got over the unsure start. It was slightly slow and confusing at the beginning but once it gets going you just have to read it.  It isn't a quick read or a skim read you need to concentrate.
Publisher's summary:
"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."

That summary more or less says it all.  Pilgrim is dragged back from self-retirement to catch the Saracen who's aim is to infect America with a deadly disease.  The story takes us to their childhood to explain what makes a child make the decision to become who they are, what events change them, their life?  For the Saracen it started with the hated Royal family in Saudi.  The Saracen has burned his identity and disappeared off the face of the map.  Only the best can find him and stop him - the best is Pilgrim. Pilgrim realises that there is a huge flaw in his identity security, for if a detective can track him down then so could his enemies.  It is a tense, politico thriller and I loved it. 

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