An intelligent and taut debut thriller that depicts the collision course between two geniuses, one a tortured hero and one a determined terrorist.
In a seedy hotel near Ground Zero, a woman lies face down in a pool of acid, features melted off her face, teeth missing, fingerprints gone. The room has been sprayed down with DNA-eradicating antiseptic spray. Pilgrim, the code name for a legendary, world-class secret agent, quickly realizes that all of the murderer’s techniques were pulled directly from his own book—a cult classic of forensic science written under a pen name.
In offering the NYPD some casual assistance with the case, Pilgrim gets pulled back into the intelligence underground. Meanwhile, his adversary—a man simply known as “the Arab”—is plotting his next move in service to jihad. What follows is a thriller that jockeys between astonishingly detailed character study and breakneck globetrotting. It takes us from Pilgrim’s hidden life of leisure in Paris to the Arab’s squalid warrior life in Afghanistan, from the hallways of an exclusive Swiss bank to the laboratories of a nefarious biotech facility in Syria. Secrets are exposed and tension builds until Pilgrim and the Arab arrive in Turkey—where the two masterminds inevitably meet to face off in the shocking finale.