Talos Cord is an agent for the United Nations.
One of the top operatives, assigned to the Field Reconnaissance office, his job is "to insure that armed force shall not be used save in the common interest." In that capacity, Cord works for a fat, aging Andrew Beck who runs the department and frets about each agent, especially Cord.
Cord was made an orphan before WWII when he was living with his parents in Shanghai. They died when the Japanese invaded and he was sent to a concentration camp. As he arrived, a sergeant struck him, giving a nasty gash on the face which survived as a long scar he carries to this day. In the camp, he survived due to the help of an old White Russian and a Eurasian taxi-dancer.
Remembering nothing of life before the camp, Cord was taken in by the American Beck who helped free the prisoners. It was Beck that renamed the young boy "Talos" as there was no recorded first name and it was Beck who adopted him and raised him.
Now he works for Beck as a globe-trotting troubleshooter, a man who dislikes violence but isn't afraid to use it to keep the peace on a larger scale. The Field Reconnaissance department's main job, as described by Cord, was "to find out what was going on when trouble began simmering, then advising the top brass on the best way to stop the situation from boiling over." That is the intent that Cord takes to every assignment but often things begin to boil so much that it is Cord who ends up dealing with them.
The series was originally released under the penname of Robert MacLeod but later re-released under the author's real name of Bill Knox.