I Am Pilgrim


This was one of those where I kept seeing good reviews of it. A totally different contemporary thriller. And it had been a while since I had read something not set it in a completely fantastic realm.

I’m struggling to think of an example, but the twin threads of this book remind me of other crime thrillers, or perhaps TV shows — seemingly separate at the start, they end up intertwined by the end.

It’s detailed, you have to give it that. Which means it’s far too long. So much could have been cut out of it without losing anything.

To start with the gritty, warts-and-all style feels refreshing, grounding. But it soon becomes laborious. As do the constant breakthroughs the protagonist makes, seemingly conjuring them from wafer thin strands. And the ending is just bizarre.

I struggled with some of the character motivations too.

There are parts I enjoyed, absolutely. There are plenty of thrills, but they’re counterbalanced by so much junk it can be tough to get through.

And that’s before we get to some serious stereotyping and (US) flag waving, which could certainly stand to be toned down.

Christopher Ragland does a solid job narrating.

It’s what used to be described as an airport novel — quite long and not overly complex, designed to get you through a flight. Not sure that still applies in the days of in-flight entertainment, when we are able to fly at all.

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Reviewed: 6th February 2021