The Year of the Locust, Terry Hayes

The Year of the Locust opening lines: I once went to kill a man. At other times, in younger days, I had followed my work through the neon-lit alleys of Tokyo, watched the sun rise over the Mosque of the Nine Cupolos and waited on the waterfront in Old Istanbul as a woman’s tears fell like rain.

The Year of the Locust

My blurb:

He is a Denied Access Area agent tasked with a mission he feels cannot fail. All he has to do is get over a border undetected, find his way to the crossroads, and rescue a man. But nothing goes to plan, and he ends up captured by a man who has a mission of his own. Kane needs to find a way out, and then he needs to stop the Russian, and thwart his mission. Can he do both, and survive?

The Year of the Locust
If,  like Kane,  you’re a Denied Access Area spy for the CIA, then boundaries have no meaning. Your function is to go in, do whatever is required, and get out again – by whatever means necessary. You know when to run, when to hide – and when to shoot.
But some places don’t play by the rules. Some places are too dangerous, even for a man of Kane’s experience. The badlands where the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan meet are such a place – a place where violence is the only way to survive.
Kane travels there to exfiltrate a man with vital information for the safety of the West – but instead he meets an adversary who will take the world to the brink of extinction. A frightening, clever, vicious man with blood on his hands and vengeance in his heart…
My verdict:

This book is 663 pages long, and for the first three quarters I was hooked. A great plot, interesting characters and concepts. Then there is a small detour into a realm I was not expecting, and did not enjoy. But this in no way detracted from an excellent read and a book I wholeheartedly recommend. I have not read I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, but this novel means I am adding his first one to my list.

About the Author:
Terry Hayes is a former journalist and screenwriter. 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 screenwriter 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 uncredited 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.
Read an extract:

Click here to read an extract of The Year Of The Locust.

Publishing information:
ISBN 9780593064979
Format Trade Paperback
Published November 2023

Penguin Random House South Africa sent me this novel to review.

See the links below for blog posts I published on February 25:

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