Peyton Stone is an agent with the CIA.
"On the surface he's a world-renowned security expert. But his real occupation is serving as a "nonofficial asset," a contractor working for the CIA when the government needs complete deniability. While advancing American interests globally, Stone discovers that those interests can exact a steep personal price."
Stone had come to the attention of the Agency through his incredible skill as a long-distance sniper demonstrated while serving in the Army. Many people had considered him possibly the best rifle shot in the world back in the day but since he had never taken part in any official competition, he was an 'unknown' talent and that made him very useful to the CIA. "Trained first by the Army and later by the CIA at Camp Peary, also known as 'The Farm' near Williamsburg, Virginia, he excelled in marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat, survival, escape and evasion, and CIA tradecraft."
When Stone went to work with Langley, it was decided that he would not become an official agent but would work under 'non-official cover (NOC)'. "His cover was his day job, that of a legitimate and successful security consultant." Stone & Associates was the name of the company he ran and it had acquired a more than impressive reputation over the twenty-some years it had been around. Now with 50+ employees, the firm played an interesting game vis-a-vis success - it was big enough and well-known enough to give him reason to travel all over the world when his CIA work required but not so big as to force him to stay behind a desk.
When we first meet him, Stone is a half-century old and is just now regaining some of the zest for life he had once had. His wife of many years had been killed and he had fallen into depression and booze for a couple of years but had now worked his way back. Standing 6'3" and a trim 200 lbs now, he knew "he wasn't going to win any triathlons but he felt pretty good for fifty."
Stone has two grown sons both in the Navy, one in SEAL training and the other working on a remote-controlled submarine project.
Interesting comments of note:
"'If only' is not a strategy."
"While Stone had dealt death on many occasions, only once before did he have to deal with it."