The Foot Soldiers

A Sunday Times Thriller of the Month

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Pub Date 31 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 31 Mar 2022

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Description

'[A] masterly novel' - The Sunday Times

'A novel of real quality. Top brass' - The Times Thriller of the Month

'Multi-layered spy-fi at its best' - Shots Magazine

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'
****

'[A] masterly novel' - The Sunday Times

'A novel of real quality. Top brass' - The Times Thriller of the Month

'Multi-layered spy-fi at its best' - Shots Magazine

Beware of Russians bearing gifts.
...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781529340419
PRICE £20.00 (GBP)

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Average rating from 15 members


Featured Reviews

The Foot Soldiers by Gerald Seymour is the very welcome sequel to "The Crocodile Hunter", which introduced veteran spook Jonas Merrick.
Working past pension age because of his skills Jonas is an intriguing character. Leading a quiet homelife with his beloved wife and taking caravan holidays Merrick is no cuddly old man, his work with MI5 brings out the steely and often cold-blooded side.

The book begins with a Russian Defector handing himself over to MI6 in Denmark and it soon become obvious that the Russians are not only coming for their man but know exactly where he is, with a "Mole" within MI6 being the only explanation.
With the exfiltration team still on the ground and in danger Merrick is sent "over the river" to try to discover who the Mole is. With the suspects mostly falling for Merrick's doddery old duffer persona he uses his skills to not only find the informant but use them to strike back at the Russians and a great part of the book is the chess game between Merrick and the Russian puppet master with human pieces and everything at stake.

This is a book that fans of the George Smiley series will love. It's not essential to have read "The Crocodile Hunter" to enjoy it but I'd strongly recommend doing so . Merrick is a complex character, he's not perfect and in this book almost makes a fatal mistake.

A great read.

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Gerald Seymour continues to carry the flame for the espionage genre, and his sublime creation, Jonas Merrick, a 21st-century George Smiley, returns in his second outing, “The Foot Soldiers”, the follow-up to “The Crocodile Hunter”.
Written in the grand tradition of spy novels by Len Deighton and John Le Carre, this story is a slow burn which rewards careful, measured reading. Like Jonas Merrick himself, Seymour eschews gung-ho theatrics in favour of depicting dogged hard work and icy intelligence. Don’t expect a James Patterson-style novel - this is the spy game in all its grubby, secretive and often boring unforgiving.
Seymour’s writing is clinical and concise, and often quite dense, which won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I really like it as an antidote to modern thrillers.
It’s not necessary to read the previous book to enjoy this one (but I recommend you do as it is just as good), but, inevitably, there are spoilers for it in this book as Jonas’ story continues.
Jonas Merrick is slowly but surely becoming a classic literary creation, and I’m looking forward to finding out where Gerald Seymour takes the character next.

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Regular as clockwork Gerald Seymour, as he has done for over 40 years now, annually comes up with a brilliant, suspenseful and contemporary thriller.

How he does it and maintains his forensic knowledge of tradecraft and the inner working of the murky world of spies and traitors I hate to think but it is hard to think of many other writers who can match his overall body of work.

What has changed is that Seymour has, I believe for the first time moved away from standalone books and now started a series featuring the beautifully drawn and depicted antihero Jonas Merrick, the elderly, underrated bespectacled backroom boy of M15 - the "Eternal Flame" who never goes out on missions but in reality is steely, organised and devi0us with a rat trap of a mind and is indeed far braver than he himself thinks he is.

First introduced in "The Crocodile Hunter" he makes a triumphant return in "The Foot Soldiers" which has as its heroes the unheralded men who simply follow orders and make tings happen at the sharp end with out complaint or recrimination.

This is a wonderfully complex and unputdownable tale of defectors, traitors, internal politics or "high jingo" as Michael Connelly would describe it and assassination both actual and character.

Highly and totally recommended.

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