Meet Jonas Merrick.
He’s your next-door neighbour.
Quiet. Unassuming. Not one for a chat, almost rude in his brusqueness.
Definitely not in the neighbourhood WhatsApp group.
He lives with his wife, Vera, and their expensive Norwegian Forest cat. The only thing that separates their house from your identical brick box along the street is the simple white caravan parked in the driveway. Some tutter that it’s ugly, an eye-sore.
They try to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse in their garden. Jonas assembled it from a flat-pack, it’s just waiting for a storm to send it sailing over the gridded streets beyond the fence.
Nobody ever remembers quite what it is he does. Isn’t it banking, or accounting . . . some kind of civil servant?
He catches a train from Raynes Park that takes him to Waterloo in 26 minutes. It’s been the same train, at the same time, for three decades. He’s never been late for work. His demeanour matches his suit, variations on tweed, immaculately polished shoes, trilby.
He walks across Lambeth Bridge. Seemingly innocuous amongst the crowds.
But he is watched, marked. Protected.
For Jonas Merrick is no ordinary commuter. And he is far from harmless.
'[A] masterly novel' - The Sunday Times
'Strong echoes of George Smiley' - Financial Times
'A novel of real quality. Top brass' - The Times Thriller of the Month
Beware of Russians bearing gifts.
Defectors are not always welcome.
Is the information they bring worth the cost of protecting them for the rest of their lives? Is it even genuine? Might they be double agents?
These are some of the questions facing MI6 when a Russian agent hands himself in to them in Denmark.
As a team begins to assess his value, his former employers in the Kremlin develop a brutal plan to show that no defector will ever be safe.
And they know where to find him. Which means there must be a mole in MI6.
So it is that the cavaliers of Six find themselves being interrogated by nondescript Jonas Merrick of Five - the man called back from retirement and his beloved caravan, the man the young guns call the Eternal Flame because 'he never goes out.'
But while he may be grey, Jonas is also ruthless. As he quietly works through the suspects in London, and violent mayhem breaks out in Denmark, Jonas plans not just to unmask a traitor, but to hit back at the Russians with deadly force.
First encountered in The Crocodile Hunter, Jonas Merrick is set to become one of the great figures of modern spy fiction.
Readers love THE FOOT SOLDIERS:
'I was completely gripped by the plot and interdepartmental jealousies and rivalries. I couldn't put it down!'
'A book that fans of the George Smiley series will love'
'A brilliant, suspenseful and contemporary thriller . . . A wonderfully complex and unputdownable tale of defectors, traitors, internal politics . . . and assassination'
'Seymour continues to carry the flame for the espionage genre, and his sublime creation, Jonas Merrick, a 21st-century George Smiley . . . is slowly but surely becoming a classic literary creation'