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Meet Jonas Merrick from The Foot Soldiers by Gerald Seymour


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.


But harmless.


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.



Read the prologue of The Foot Soldiers here.