William Mallett is a reporter.
Mallett has been a journalist for the London newspaper, the Globe, for a considerable number of years and has risen up the ranks so he now has the respect of his peers and his bosses. His success can be easily attributed to natural inquisitiveness and his nose for the news, not to mention working long hours to make sure he is on top of anything. When he is in London, he is able to switch easily between current events and crime, all without raising an eyebrow or getting a stern reception, but his real specialty is as a foreign correspondent, available to head to whichever part of the world seems the most newsworthy.
He lives a solitary life when not at work, perhaps being the reason he works so hard. He has a small apartment filled with books and a fair amount of what he considers junk, and little more. He had been married but she had died some time back and he has yet to find anything to fill that void. At 38 years old, he does not seem interested in trying.
As the series opens, Mallett has no premonition or intention of working for British Intelligence but circumstances fairly force that upon him in the first novel as he seeks to solve the murder of an old friend. That gets him involved with Colonel Ravenscroft of Department Two, a division dealing with counter-espionage. In the second book, Mallett is on assignment in Central America where he unintentionally gets enmeshed with local politics and a CIA operation.
It is nose for news that gets him into trouble. Luckily, he is crafty enough to survive.