Luke Temple is an agent of Group 9.
First of all, Group 9 is, or was, "a division that virtually no one on the planet knew about". Five years before we first meet Temple, a senior intelligence officer within MI6 flew to "a secret meeting taking place in a lone farmhouse in northern Germany". There, a "handful of intelligence service operatives from Europe's power five - France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK - had gathered to lay out plans for an ultra-covert new unit. The threat to Europe was growing and the aim was to assemble an elite team to protect Europe and her interests. This unit would have two operatives from each nation, and they would be selected from a range of skillsets. They were not looking for battle-hardened veterans, but a younger age set, with more cerebral credentials; an ability to think, to blend, to be creative and to operate under extreme stress. Weapons and combat skills could always be taught. They were to be modern operatives for a modern world."
As one of the two chosen to represent the U.K. the man doing the choosing picked Alex Rowland.
Rowland "had been an analyst, one of the best, based at GCHQ, tasked with trawling through reams of data and being able to interpret, analyse and suggest a course of action. He had been so good that they had taken him out to Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11 to work in the field with the ground troops. He was to build success models based on data received and predict scenarios for the troops. Based on this, generals and commanders could devise plans of action."
Then the London 7/7 attack happened and Rowland's wife, Sarah, had been in the same carriage as the bomber and died instantly. When Rowland learned of her death, he was so stricken with grief his only thought had been to join her and with an overdose of drugs, tried to do just that.
When he was rescued from that attempt, he was given the offer of a new life and a new purpose and he took it. In that hospital bed, officially Rowland died and Luke Temple was born.
The man who chose Temple "was amazed what they had gotten out of the men; they were trained beyond training, in cultural-expertise, urban warfare, Middle East crisis training, industrial espionage, cross-country infiltration, counter-terrorism." In the months of preparation, Temple had become one of the most deadly people the British military had ever produced. And he proved that over and over during the next few years on assignments that seemed impossible.
But the whims of governments are ever changing and for reasons that meant nothing to Temple, "Group 9 was stopped as quickly and suddenly as it had been conceived. Funding had ceased six months previously when the cover company - financial risk assessors Nissell and Randall - was folded, casting Temple out into the wilderness."
Temple is thirty-two years old standing around five feet nine and had the body of a triathlete, strong and slight, when we meet him. He is very much a man in desperate need of something to do to keep his demons away. He will find it.