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I Am Pilgrim (Pilgrim #1)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  24,646 ratings  ·  3,337 reviews
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 detect
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ebook, 624 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books (first published July 18th 2013)
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Dave Did not get the propaganda feel either. More anti-terrorist than pro-US.…moreDid not get the propaganda feel either. More anti-terrorist than pro-US.(less)
Dawn Try Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews. The Charm School by Nelson DeMille (and oldie but goodie)…moreTry Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews. The Charm School by Nelson DeMille (and oldie but goodie)(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jim
So you're the top agent in a US government spy agency, more secret than the most secret, secret agency that even The President has heard of. If he has. Which is unlikely, as if he had, he'd now be dead. Assassinated in a way that the people would never suspect. That's how good, and secret, you are. However, despite being the top agent, you decide to get out of the trade. You know you will be a marked man, and therefore you have to disappear. But, before you do, you decide to write a book about y ...more
Anthony Dalton
WOW!!! Sometimes one gets really lucky, you pick up a book and think it might be an OK read, then you complete 5 or 6 chapters and come to the realisation you've stumbled across one of the top five reads of your life.. Such is the case with 'I Am Pilgrim'. As far as spy thrillers go, this is hands down the best, relegates the likes of Clancy, Ludlum and LeCarre (as good as they are) into the also ran section. The style of writing is fantastic, the plot totally mesmerising and the character devel ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Superb. That was a six-star ride for me, sure enough. I like the way he took a philosophical turn at the end without getting too cheesy.

I am determined to write a review without spoilers, which means I can't tell you much about the plot. By the time I got around to reading the book, I'd forgotten why I requested it, and that turned out to be a very good thing. I prefer my surprises and plot twists to be unadulterated by book jacket blurbs and blabby reviewers.

Here's the all-you-need-to-know ver
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LeeAnne
Everyone loves this book but me.

I am so shocked, confused and flabberghasted by all of the gushing, rave reviews of this book! (?)



I Am Pilgrim
Summary:
A Jason Bourne-like super spy must stop a genius jihadist planning a pandemic by unleashing a potent strain of smallpox which will kill off most of the population in the United States.

My thoughts:
This book is a long-winded string of action spy movie cliches. It lacks momentum. There are many unbelievable coincidences and plot twists. There are e
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Audrey
I had to make myself wait several weeks after reading this to write a review so that I could sufficiently calm down. I could write numerous scathing pages filled with my favorite quotes but I'll try to keep this short and angry.

I was promised an awesome summer read. I didn't realize that "summer" has become a euphemism for "insulting to intelligence" and "poorly written trash." But, now I know. And don't tell me "well that's the thriller genre" because no, it's not. There are a ton of well writ
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Tony Mac
This long and often rambling thriller just left a bad taste in my mouth. There's no denying that the author has clearly done a lot of research and he has an economical way with words that allows his often fragmented narrative to remain essentially readable. But there is still a lack of realism, shoddy plotting and a nasty veneer of racism, xenophobia and right-wing triumphalism that is barely hidden throughout.

For all the intricate plotting the story too often depends on some pretty unbelievabl
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Carol
"Who is this guy, Terry Hayes?", I asked myself when I was 200 pages in to the 600+ page I Am Pilgrim I was so hooked I had to read a bio of the author and you might want to also.

I Am Pilgrim is a big book, in more ways than one. It's 600+ pages requires a time commitment but reads quite quickly. I think publishers spoil us with the neat packaged books of 340 pages so when we get something longer, it scares us off. Don't let the length of this one bother you. I think this debut is going to be a
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Liz Wilkins
In some ways this may end up being a fairly simplistic review in comparison to others I have read about this wonderful novel. However for me, this book was very much about the journey I found within its pages – hooked from the very first paragraph I barely looked out on the world again until I was done. For me, as a book lover, blogger and a person who just wants to send your way the very best stories I find out there, this says more than any in depth critique of “I am Pilgrim” could achieve. I ...more
Kate
Astonishing. 700 pages of brilliance. A spy thriller that is so much more than that. It takes us, the lead characters and the author on a series of journeys, populated by 'real' people, obsessed by their own lives, living their own experiences,influenced or merely observed by our leads. It's a twisty path, covering so many countries, sometimes leading to tears, admiration, horror or to tremendous shocks and revelations. So many stories in one. This is indeed a storytelling pilgrimage. Every page ...more
Sharon Bolton
‘The chemical flood hit his limbs – he realized with a wild rage that nothing could stop it now – and he saw his car keys fall from the jelly that used to be his hands.’

I looked forward to this book for months and finished it in about four days which, when you consider it is nearly 800 pages long, says something about its pace. At the end of all that, I’m really not sure how to begin to review it.

Given everything I’d been led to expect, this much-hyped book started, for me, rather surprisingly
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Brandon
Pilgrim is the code-name for one of the world’s foremost authorities in forensic investigation. Spending his entire career employed by a secret division of the US government, Pilgrim rode off into the sunset by putting a lifetime of knowledge into what would become the definitive text on forensic crime scene investigation. But what happens when someone uses Pilgrim’s book as a manual for committing the perfect crime?

I received a free copy from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest revie
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Manda Scott
If you spend enough time at literary festivals, you come to fear and loathe the 'goody bag' - a delightfully marketed sling-bag full of books you never want to read and don't quite know what to do with.

Until it isn't that: the goody bag at Harrogate last weekend contained a small 'taster' booklet that offered the first chapter of I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. I read it late on Saturday night, bought the book on Sunday and started reading it on Monday. I finished it late last night and it's been a
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Lori
Wow, wow, and wow again!!! I had to wait a little while to write this review just to let the full force of it hit me!!! I honestly have not read a novel as well written and thrillingly addictive since Girl With the Dragon Tattoo!!! Thrillers are a genre I've not had much success with... they tend to be too predicable and cliche'!!! This one, however, met and exceeded all of my expectations!!! I was kept, literally, 'sitting on the edge of my seat' the entire 700 pages!!! I would give this an eas ...more
Dem
This is one of those books that I passed in the book shop on numerous occasions without even picking up up because the cover didn't appeal to me and it just looked like way too many pages for my liking. Only on recommendations from two trustworthy friends did I eventually read this novel. Once again " never judge a book by its cover teaches me a valuable lesson. I really enjoyed this well crafted thriller. It's the sort of book you get into quite quickly and I loved the character development and ...more
Jen
INTENSE & THRILLING. My heart is still palpitating. Hayes' first crime narrative takes us through a labyrinth of deception, espionage and bioterrorism through various countries, shocking cultures and disturbing deaths. Jack Pilgrim is not your average CIA. I Am Pilgrim is not your average crime novel. It had me teetering on the edge of my chair chewing my nails down to the cuticle. Amazing 5 must read. ...more
September Withers
It's been almost a week since I finished this book and I still can't find the words to describe it. It's INSANELY good. Ridiculously clever and well thought out - the kind of book that begs the question HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT SOMEONE WAS ABLE TO THINK OF THIS, WRITE IT DOWN AND PULL IT OFF. Excuse the capitals, but I can't rave about this title enough. Think 24 meets Bond meets Bourne Ultimatum. It'll blow your mind.
Raven
I Am Pilgrim is without a doubt an extraordinary take on the contemporary thriller and running to 700 pages a remarkable interweaving of the lives of two men defined by the experiences of their formative years drawing them into a headlong collision in the defence of their personal affiliations. Opening with a baffling crime scene in New York, the plot expands into a race against time to thwart a devastating terrorist plot by a man known as Saracen, scarred as a boy by the execution of his father ...more
Steve Yeoman
Dan Brown can take a holiday. Terry Hayes is an absolute master of the page turning, compelling plot-full-of-holes thriller, and by the first few pages I willingly suspended belief, took the phone off the hook and had more fun with a book than I can remember in years.

It's a big book, a great read, but make sure your affairs are in order for the next couple of days before you pick it up, and have a few meals prepared so that you don't have to put it down. I'm in two minds about the next one - wil
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Peter Gasston
Having read so many good reviews of this, I was quite looking forward to reading it. About a fifth of the way in, I just wanted it to end. It is, at times, hilariously badly written. I started highlighting awful sentences until that became too time-consuming.

“a vicious wind howling out of the steppes, hot, carrying with it the smell of Asia and the stench of betrayal” - oh really, what does that smell like?

“I may not be on top of anyone’s list for male lead in Deep Throat II, but I didn’t have a
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Paul
This is a massive book of over 700 pages and from the outside looks like a mighty tome what you get is a book that is an absolute pleasure to read. It is easy to stick all the clichés in this review; gripping, page turner, grabs you by the throat, a bestseller. It is all those things and more, easy to see why this should be the book for your summer holidays sitting on the lounger relaxing with a page turner.

Written by a British born Hollywood scriptwriter Terry Hayes, if has brought all those el
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Connie
Still recovering from this "roller coaster read" Review to come when I catch my breath!

This was a book that I kept seeing out of the corner of my eye, but kept passing it over. WOW. Why did I wait so long? A thriller set in the world of terrorism, the unknown spy world of deep undercover spooks and legends and what could really happen in this day and age. I loved the character development that Hayes creates. From the broken NY detective, to the many faces of the hero, to the vengeful terrorist
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Leanne
Whew! That was one of those books that sucks you right into its world for a while, and when you're finished you're a little shell shocked and you need to take a few breaths.

I Am Pilgrim is kind of a story wrapped in a story wrapped in a story. Despite being a "spy thriller", the beginning - an ingeniously covered up murder in a seedy hotel - was right up my alley (spies are not my speciality but murder mysteries certainly are!) From there the story veered out of my comfort zone, but it ended up
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Susan
Hands down the best spy thriller I've ever read. This book scared the crap out of me!!!! I'm exhausted.
Rebecca Hazelton
I'm surprised at all the positive reviews, but then, people read books for a lot of different reasons. If you just want something to turn your brain off, this book might work out for you. Certainly that's how I approached it. But despite my best efforts to treat it like junk food, I couldn't turn off my critical thinking. The book has real POV oddities -- sometimes we're in the main character's head, and sometimes we are in 3rd person omniscient. Further blurring that is Hayes' tendency to have ...more
Dianne
Really well done and interesting thriller about a former high ranking operative from a disbanded clandestine U.S. intelligence agency who gets drawn back into his former life in a race-against-the-clock effort to prevent a horrific attack against the United States. I am not a big fan of the spy/espionage thriller genre, but this is good stuff. The subject matter is very timely, considering what is going on in the world right now with terrorism and ISIS.

I especially liked the first half of the b
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Charlene Intriago
An absolute "WOW" of a book! It is a hard book book to put down and a hard book to hold at 700 pages! My book was from the UK and the "jacket" was such a tease. You think you are starting off with a murder mystery, but each page pulls you further and further into the deep abyss that is the world of espionage. Two cultures, two great minds pitted against each other, how much of what happens to us as children shapes who we are as adults, scary in parts, truly thought provoking, and a thrilling wil ...more
Carol
If you enjoy a good mystery-spy novel with a super hero, you are in for a treat! The story begins with an unusually bizzare murder.....no big deal, right? Wrong! The bizzare death of a young (acid soaked) woman leads you on a multi-layered thrilling ride following the activities of one of the world's most secret and intelligent agents.

While searching for a revengeful Palestinian terrorist who is planning a deadly crime against mankind, our Pilgrim will take you through a multitude of intense, he

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J.F. Penn
Seriously good book. Incredible character development for both Pilgrim & the Saracen who is a multi faceted, nuanced bad guy we can sympathize with even as he plots oblivion for the West. Told in a strange way with almost flashbacks as the plot moves forward in first person. Very clever, awesome book.
Laura
Not my normal reading genre, however I loved it. How is it that you have a clear vision of what all the characters look like except the narrator? This book is intense and never lets up. I thoroughly enjoyed every detail of this book! Wow, what a roller coaster.
Larry Hoffer
Holy crap. This was an intense, terrific read that still has my heart pounding.

There's a man whose real name is known by very few people. Call him Pilgrim. At one point he was the head of a secret intelligence force within the U.S. government, but after retiring from that job, he is forbidden to speak about what he did, where he was, or for whom he worked. He wrote a book about some of the most notorious cases he dealt with, some of the most ingenious criminal minds he encountered, but he had to
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Terry Hayes began his career as a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald, when as foreign correspondent in the US he covered Watergate and President Nixon's resignation, among many major international stories. He then went on to become a successful screenwriter, having written the screenplays for Mad Max 2, Dead Calm, Bangkok Hilton, Payback and From Hell. He lives in Sydney with his wife and fo ...more
More about Terry Hayes...
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“nobody’s ever been arrested for a murder; they have only ever been arrested for not planning it properly.” 52 likes
“If you want to be free, all you have to do is let go.” 36 likes
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