Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A New Ace of the Thrill

I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes (Atria Books)

For me there are two kinds of thrillers that really capture my interest; the first is the thriller that from the first page grips you by the throat and thrusts you headlong into the action and sweeps you along to a dynamic conclusion. The second, is the kind that is a slow, steady, burn; the type of story that weaves such an intricate tale that you suddenly realize that you are enveloped in such an amazing story that you have to think back to realize how you got into it neck deep.

I Am Pilgrim the debut novel from Terry Hayes, an award-winning screenwriter and producer of numerous movies whose big screen credits include; Payback,, Road Warrior, and Dead Calm, firmly and squarely into the second category. I Am Pilgrim, is one of those engrossing stories that as you peel back the layers and you start to think you have things figured out, you know exactly where the story is going and then Hayes turns things on their head and the hunt is back on.

What starts out with the mutilated body of a female murder victim, found in the “finest” of one star, lower-Manhattan hotels; soon twists and turns through international spy intrigue, with a healthy dollop of terrorism added to the mix. Pilgrim is one of those mysterious men that we all secretly hope is out there; we’re happy that they are on our side, fighting the good fight and if they have a little blood on their hands, we choose to ignore it because it’s for the best.

Hayes shows a masters touch, skillfully weaving the contrasting plot lines and then pulling them carefully together and creating a level of tension and doubt that will keep you second-guessing what happens next. I Am Pilgrim might have you tempted to draw comparisons to other aces of the thrill, but those comparisons will miss the mark for this thoroughly original read that ranks among my favorites of the year thus far.

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