Samuel Tolen is an agent with the CIA.
He is an operative with a good number of years experience when we first meet him and has just completed a particularly unpleasant assignment for which he was granted much needed vacation time. Following this break, he had been promised a stretch liaising with the Smithsonian where his interests in antiquities and archaeology would come in useful. Unfortunately for him, the needs of the Agency coupled with his impressive set of skills will keep postponing that assignment.
Tolen is African-American, described by a nurse as "like a strong cup of coffee that jumpstarted her morning". He wears his hair in a close-crop and is routinely dressed "impeccably". One rarity he has that women find extremely alluring is his "wondrous blue eyes". There can be no doubt that an intelligent, perceptive man like Tolen is aware of the effect on people but he never seems to use it to his advantage nor to rely on it. His intellect and his curiousity dominate this man's actions.
Tolen has had a love of history and archaeology for years and as a result was very interested in an offer to be seconded for a time to the Smithsonian Institute as one of its field agents before returning to normal duty with the Agency.
Tolen works regularly with CIA analyst Tiffany Bar, a young 23-year-old woman who has been with the Agency for four years since she earned her doctorate in forensic analysis. She is "considered an analytical savant" but due to her young age has intimidated most of her associates and so is treated like a pariah. Tolen, however, "treated her no differently than he would anyone else at the agency from the first day" so the two got along wonderfully.
"Tolen had a unique skill. He possessed the aural equivalent of photographic memory. Not only could he recall exact sounds and conversations, but he could remember the exact pitch and intonation."