Socrates is a werehyena and an ex-cop. He is originally from Los Angeles, but lives now in St. Louis. His real name is Russell Jones, although in the preternatural circles he is always called by the nickname he got from Narcissus when he joined the werehyena clan in St. Louis.
Socrates is a few inches short of six feet tall, but not too broad because he doesn't like doing serious weight lifting. He tends to round his shoulders and slump a little, as if he hit his growth spurt early and never lost the habit of trying to hide it, even if he isn't the tallest boy in the class anymore. His eyes are dark brown and his skin is the color of coffee with a little cream added, and his hair is so curly that it still curls when cut very short, thanks to African heritage. In Hit List he wears his hair unstyled, because they are working with cops and cops don't like men styling their hair on the job. In Dead Ice, when he's just guarding the Circus of the Damned, he uses some new hair product that another guard, Lisandro, comments on as smelling too sweet.
Personal history Edit
When Socrates lived in Los Angeles, he worked as a plainclothes detective on the gang and drugs squad. He loved his job and was good at it. He lost the job when he saved some of his colleagues from werehyenas and got cut up in the process, catching lycanthropy, which was an automatic grounds for dismissal from the police forces those days.
Socrates is the oldest of five siblings, at least two of whom are women. When his Mama invited him to the Thanksgiving dinner after he'd been attacked, one of the sisters took her sons and left. By the time of Hit List Socrates hasn't seen her or those nephews in five years, and he and the rest of the family miss them. Socrates says he's seen all his nephews and nieces as newborns and attends every birthday party, ball game, and school play that he can manage. Another sister stopped coming to them, thinking Socrates would be there, until he helped her oldest, John, out of his entanglement with a gang two years before Hit List. Socrates used to go to high school with John's father, but the gangs and drugs got him. Socrates got John off his father's footsteps and straightened out, and the previous semester to Hit List John was on the honor roll and has a shot of getting a football scholarship to a good college. Socrates himself wasn't big enough for college football, although he played it in high school.
History within the series Edit
In Hit List Socrates is one of the bodyguards sent to guard and assist Anita when she's upstate trying to solve weretiger murders with a bunch of other marshals, to whom she can't tell about the Harlequin loyal to Marmee Noir who are behind the attacks. When Anita goes into hospital to reassure a new marshal, Laila Karlton, who contracts lycanthropy from a Harlequin werewolf Thaddeus, Socrates goes along as an ex-cop who has been in her shoes.
Laila's father is prejudiced enough that he can't even make himself to touch her hand, even if he does try, but after Socrates tells him about his own family the father manages to relax enough that eventually they can talk sports together. Turns out the father and one of Laila's brothers even know Socrates' nephew John from a football camp. Socrates stays behind to explain to Laila and her family how being a werewolf might affect her life, while Anita leaves to fetch Laila clothes and ends up getting kidnapped by the Harlequin. It's unclear if Socrates is taken along when Edward and Laila come to Anita's rescue.
In Dead Ice Socrates is working as a guard at the Circus of the Damned and making a bid to be reinstated as a detective. By that time there are two officers who have got to keep their badge after catching lycanthropy (Laila being one of them), but they are both with the U.S. Marshals Preternatural Branch, while Socrates wants to be a regular detective again. He also offers to tell Anita about all the changes in himself he's noticed since becoming a werehyena, since she's worrying about what all has changed in her without her noticing, although they don't get around to it before the end of the book.