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Meredith, John. John Meredith was created by Francis Gérard and appeared in eighteen novels from 1936 to 1950, beginning with The Concrete Castle Murders.
Before World War Two John Meredith works for Scotland Yard, assisted by Detective Sergeant Matthew Beef, a large, bluff, ruddy-faced Harley Streeter. Meredith is “physically a magnificent specimen, with those rather hard-bitten good looks which you find only in a certain type of Englishman, he was a singularly attractive fellow. He exuded an atmosphere of quiet confidence.” He had been brought up in India and was heavily influenced by Yussuf Khan, the Pathan bearer of Meredith's father (and an agent of British Intelligence). He was taught by Khan “the elementary principles of yoga. One of the exercises was to empty the mind and then to induce reception of ideas and principles totally foreign to one's own personality.”
Before the war he worked as a kind of Occult Detective, using his mental abilities to solve certain "borderline case(s) of the mind," in the words of Meredith's friend and (during the war) superior, General Hector McAllister of British Intelligence. After the war Meredith continues to do so, solving (among other things) the case of a werewolf curse. During the war...the details are never explicated, for obvious reasons, but the implications are that he used his abilities to transform himself thoroughly into an SS officer and go into Germany as a mole or sleeper. What exactly he did there is not known, but his actions earned him the K.C.M.G. and the praise and interest of Churchill, Roosevelt, Truman, and Stalin. Unfortunately, he was also caught and tortured by the Germans, leaving him a far older and frailer man after the war. But he is not broken by this experience, nor by the loss of his beautiful wife and child to a V-1 rocket. Meredith recuperates and then returns to his occult detective ways.
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