Casey Shenk is an intelligence analyst.
As the second book in the series begins, he does this work professionally. In the first book he is totally an amateur with an incredible insight who divulges his hunches and reasonings and murmurings on his personal blog during the evening as his days are filled paying the bills by filling vending machines around his town. Hardly glamorous work, he would admit, but it does provide an income and it is good, honest work which leaves him with considerable amount of time alone to let the various pieces of information he has gleamed from the web to whirl inside him insightful brain.
This man in his mid-to-late 20's is a moderately good-looking person who is friendly enough to most people but still reclusive enough, or perhaps shy enough, to not especially seek out attention. He leaves that to his writings on his blog when he heads home to his apartment in the evening after a beer or two with a couple of close pals. Then he opens up with what the whirling information has produced. A man who is non-confrontational by nature, Shenk has enjoyed his life as it gets him out and about without too much stress and pressure. He has been doing it for five years as the first recorded adventure starts.
His take on world events would have gone unnoticed without powerful search engines that routinely explore the Internet and latch onto key words in his musings and present his findings to real world explorers. Some of them are not very nice people like the ones who read his writings and decide that his continued existence is not in their interest so they send people to kill him. Luckily, some are like Susan Williams, one of the lead analysts for the Intelligence Watch Group (IWG), a "private analysis and forecasting corporation" with a client list that spanned governments and Fortune 500 companies, who also reads what he has to say and recognizes his brilliance.
Shenk is no dashing-agent-in-waiting. He has never wanted to be, never considered the possibility, and when bullets start to fly and he realizes they are meant for him, he is even less interested in the possibility. But he is a very intuitive individual who enjoys putting together puzzles in his head and is good enough at it that he makes some people unhappy.