Alex Law is an agent with the CIA.
As the first book in the series begins, he has been an operative of considerable reputation for two decades. His resume, if it were legal to make such a thing in his line of work, would list an impressive number of countries visited and missions accomplished, leading his juniors and his seniors to know this is a man who can get the job done.
The problem with having such a list like his is that it is easy for others to relegate those accomplishments to the past and in the case of Law, that happens. To his seniors, it becomes a "what have you done for us lately" and for juniors it is "you used to be somebody". Law definitely does not help his case by being well known to like to tip a bottle now and then, or in Law's case, a couple of bottles quite often.
In many agents' cases, falling into a whiskey glass comes as a result of guilt over services rendered and that might the be true with Law but it also could be an extension of his upbringing, a learned tendency to go after pleasure whenever the fancy strikes. It was learned from the time he was born and indulged in quite fully as he grew to manhood.
Born into a very prosperous banking family, Law could have made a highly lucrative living in the financial world. He was trained for it from the time he was old enough to carry a wallet. The best schools enjoyed his presence culminating with prestigious Yale. Naturally, considering his lineage, membership in the haughty, exclusive Skull and Bones there was a part of his curriculum.
As if having a rich and well known family background was not enough, Law was always ruggedly handsome and glib of tongue, described as "bright-eyed and beautiful", making him popular with the ladies and friendly with fellow males. Even now, in his early 40s, he is "still boyish and very handsome but much tougher-looking", a wonder considering the work he did and the lifestyle he led.
Law chose to not go into the family business as his grandfather and father did but to follow a different path, albeit one pointed to him by his father. Dad had been a legend in the OSS and the nascent CIA afterwards before returning to the banking world. Law was spotted by a family friend as a possible candidate, approached with the possibility while in college, and decided that was the way to go.
The recorded adventures fall into different time periods for Law. As mentioned, the first is when he has been with the Agency for 20 years. The second comes about 5 years later. The third is a prequel and concerns his first mission after graduating from the Farm.