I am pilgrim

Terry Hayes


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.

What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race against time to save America.

Local Book Reviewers

Elizabeth Pascoe
Terry Hayes has written an exciting, jaw-dropping, thriller. The story travels to many countries with different cultures and beliefs. It’s about evil people and evil deeds. The main characters are Pilgrim and the Saracen and we follow them through a maze of events with the author leaving little hints of the puzzle along the way for the astute reader to pick up.

There is a ripple of Aussie humour and a delightful hotel owner with his own interpretation of the spoken word. It is an adventure and a journey worth travelling.


Tony Harrington
Pilgrim is the code name for a faceless, nameless super espionage agent working for the USA. His nemesis, Saracen, is the codename for an untraceable jihadi bioterrorist doctor who plans to unleash on America  a vaccine resistant smallpox virus with 100 per cent kill rate.

Of the two protagonists I preferred the jihadi doctor to the too-cunning and too-smart covert American.
The plot and many subplots read like a movie script or TV series, which is the author’s principal occupation. This is his first novel.

It is an interesting, entertaining and engaging page turner to read on a long haul flight or by the pool on your summer holiday.

A good effort 7/10.

Mary Barber
I put this book down about halfway and did not get back to it. Why? It was dark, too dark.
Terry Hayes is undoubtedly a fine writer. It’s full of action and moves along quickly. The characters are well-drawn and believable.

But for all that, watching a madman develop his intricate plan to take down Saudi Arabia by destroying the USA with a new biological weapon didn’t add anything of value to my life.

If you can read about violence and evil and put it in a box called entertainment, then go for it. Obviously, it was not my cup of tea.

Jo Bourke
It is unlikely I would have read this book if I had not been asked to review it – 700 pages in small print! 

The characters were meticulously developed via their backgrounds and conditioning until the inevitable meeting. Of course “good” had to prevail despite a rather far-fetched show-down.  Worth reading for those who have the time for a marathon read and who enjoy a good spy story.

My feelings are mixed – found it strange that the first time the word ‘Pilgrim’ was mentioned was a third of the way through the story. It was long and heavy-going at times, but when I tried to envisage where it could have been
shortened I came up with a blank.

Sheila Bryden
This genre is not appreciated by all – crime, thriller and modern spy fiction - but it is one that I have always loved.  

Therefore, it was with high expectations that I settled down to read I Am Pilgrim. It is without doubt one of the best non-stop suspense novels I have read in years.    

This is a true page-turner – all 700 of them.  We are treated to an exotic travelogue served with lashings of abductions, violence, terrorism, biological terrorism and gruesome assassinations.   I loved this story and had difficulty putting it down either to eat, sleep or work.  Why would I be surprised at these bizarre plots and graphic descriptions from the man who wrote  Dead Calm and Mad Max 2! Be warned, this is a fast, furious and bloody tale that’s not for the faint-hearted.

John Kleinschmidt
Author Terry Hayes likes an epic (as I do) and with his first book I Am Pilgrim, he has created one. The story is a great mix of murder mystery and international terrorism and the plot that brings these together is cleverly constructed and detailed, making the story believable, intriguing and terrifying.

It’s certainly the most enjoyable book I have read for a very long time. Refreshingly, the hero is not the misfit “loner detective” or the “invincible agent” of many novels but a retired highly trained and experienced operative using innovative techniques to solve murder and prevent a catastrophe.

I look forward to more from this author.