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About the book
  • Published: 1 April 2014
  • ISBN: 9780552160964
  • Imprint: Corgi
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 912
  • RRP: $22.99

I Am Pilgrim

When your past comes calling, it’s time to disappear . . .

Pilgrim was the codename for a world class and legendary secret agent. The adopted son of a wealthy New York family, he was once head of a secret internal affairs force for US intelligence and held the title ‘Rider of the Blue’. He wrote the definitive book on forensic investigation before disappearing into an anonymous retirement, taking the secrets of the Rider of the Blue with him.

A murder in New York: the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features have been ripped from her face, her teeth are missing, her fingerprints gone. The rooms has been sprayed with DNA-eradictaing spray. Someone has seemingly committed the perfect crime using the techniques outlined in Pilgrim’s book.

A terrorist, known only as The Arab, was radicalised when, as a young boy, he witnessed the beheading of his father in a public square in Saudi Arabia. He has dedicated his life to destroying the special relationship between the Kingdom and the United States. He learnt his trade fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, and now from hiding in Germany plots a terrible act of mass murder.

When NYPD detective Ben Bradley tracks down Pilgrim, neither man can imagine the terrifying journey they are about to begin, as what begins as an unusual and challenging murder investigation leads them into a direct collision course with the dark forces of jihadist terrorism.

  • Pub date: 1 April 2014
  • ISBN: 9780552160964
  • Imprint: Corgi
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 912
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Terry Hayes

Terry Hayes is a former journalist and screen-writer. Born in Sussex, England, he migrated to Australia as a child and trained as a journalist at the country’s leading broadsheet. At twenty-one he was appointed North American correspondent, based in New York, and after two years returned to Sydney to become an investigative reporter, political correspondent and columnist.

He resigned to produce a prominent current affairs radio program and a short time later, with George Miller, wrote the screenplay for Road Warrior/Mad Max 2. He also co-produced and wrote Dead Calm, the film which launched Nicole Kidman’s international movie career, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and a large number of TV movies and mini-series – including Bodyline and Bangkok Hilton – two of which received international Emmy nominations. In all, he has won over twenty film or television awards.

After moving to Los Angeles he worked as a screen-writer on major studio productions. His credits include Payback with Mel Gibson, From Hell, starring Johnny Depp, and Vertical Limit with Chris O’Donnell. He has also done un-credited writing on a host of other movies including Reign of Fire, Cliffhanger and Flightplan, starring Jodie Foster.

The Year of the Locust is Terry Hayes' second novel. His first, I Am Pilgrim was an international bestseller. He and his American wife – Kristen – have four children and live in Switzerland.

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Praise for I Am Pilgrim

“The best thriller I've read in ten years... An astonishing piece of work”

Linwood Barclay

“THRILLER OF THE WEEK. Delivers thrills and spills...A full tilt mix of Homeland, The Wire and The Bourne Ultimatum”

Mail on Sunday

“I Am Pilgrim is a 21st century thriller: a high concept plot, but with finely drawn protagonists. The plot twists and turns like a python in a sack. The style is visceral, gritty and cinematic...A satisfying and ambitious book, written with skill and verve”

Adam LeBor, The Times

“Rendition yourself into a pulsating thriller that never lets up as it carries the hero and the reader on an ever more desperate race between time and an all too plausible disaster for the world we live in. Great nail-biting stuff!”

Robert Goddard

“The narrative is thrilling: the tension tightens with action...It's a murder mystery, an illuminating account of contemporary international politics and a study of an unusual man......An excellent thriller which as a first novel is really remarkable”

Literary Review

“I Am Pilgrim takes the modern spy novel and pushes it screaming and kicking into the twentieth-first century. With a stunning sense of plot, beautifully detailed writing, huge ambition and even huger talent, Hayes has produced one of the most memorable novels of recent times. This is a frightening, pulse-pounding journey into the future of terrorism and the brave new world we’ve been ushered into. Amazingly assured and complex, this is one of the best debut novels I’ve ever read”

Stav Sherez

“Clever and compulsive - the best thriller in years”

Deidre O'Brien, Sunday Mirror

“Terry Hayes' I AM PILGRIM delivers smart, compelling and wildly inventive storytelling, told on an ambitious scale with total command. A masterful novel and a terrific read”

Chris Ewan

“Massive in many senses, but none more so than its ability to exert a vice-like grip on the reader....Destined to be spy thriller of the year”

Irish Independent

“As relevant as today's headlines. A scary trip through the shadowy world of international espionage. Just hope that Pilgrim is on our side. Terrific. No, on second thoughts, better than terrific”

Mark Timlin

“THRILLER OF THE MONTH - If the gizmos and bad guys of James Bond and Jason Bourne are a guilty pleasure, you'll love I Am Pilgrim”

Good Housekeeping

“Fast-paced, slick and full of suspense...It will be the only thriller you need to read this year”

Yorkshire Post

“A rollicking, yet thoughtful spy thriller which looks set to become a summer blockbuster... [I Am Pilgrim] has plenty of action, but at its heart the drama is cerebral and rich in character, a battle of wills and intellect which is more George Smiley than Jason Bourne”

Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller

“[Terry Hayes’] debut novel has been hyped as "the only thriller you need to read this year", and for once that isn't nonsense. I Am Pilgrim makes moussaka of its rivals”

John O’Connell, Guardian

“I Am Pilgrim is going to be big”

Simon Mayo

“I Am Pilgrim is a satisfying and ambitious book, written with skill and verve”

The Times

“Worthy of the hype ****”

Sunday Mirror

“I Am Pilgrim is a fresh new take on the genre...and it’s one you won’t regret picking up”

David Baldacci

“[I Am Pilgrim] has been a fantastic read: a big, solid, chunky, fast-paced, rip-roaring thriller, the love child of a manic union between Jack Reacher and James Bond.”


“Mr. Hayes’s globe-trotting book has more kicks, twists and winks than anything of its dusty genre has provided in a long time. You will be happily surprised to find a new thriller franchise with brains to match its brawn”

Janet Maslin, New York Times

“Written in a heart-stopping pace, this literary thriller lands somewhere between Homeland and Breaking Bad and then transports you to a different level. It is part spy novel, part psychological thriller. Twists and turns. Emotionally complex characters. Relevant geopolitical issues.”

Monica Lewinsky, Wall Street Journal

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