John Quinton 'Quint' Cord is an agent with the CIA.
Not a traditional field agent in the normal sense, though his vocation does put him out into the field on occasion.
Cord was a code breaker and an exceptional one at that. His skills at it were so impressive because he not only had incredible talent at it but also because he loved it more than anything else.
"Code was his friend...had been the only one for a long time. He couldn't afford friends in his business. Friendships require intimacy and he was in no position to offer it. As an expert at encryption and an international spy, he kept to himself to avoid emotional entanglements that could cloud his judgment. Lapses in judgment were a quick method for finding oneself in a starring role in the cemetery."
"He was 32 years old and at times he tired of living in the shadows of the night like some non-existent entity. He was wealthy enough that he never needed to work, thanks to very generous trusts established for him in infancy. He worked because it amused him. He had become enmeshed in government intrigue because of his reputation for cracking the toughest of codes and writing even tougher ones. He relished that reputation. He had earned it by cracking a code that led to the foiling of a Taliban attack on the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan. The head of CIA was impressed enough to hire him on contract and had used him several times for code breaking. Soon he was sent on location to various European cities. His language skills and ability to blend in allowed him to get closer to the source of some of the codes that were of increasing concern to the CIA, especially after the rise of more militant factions in the Muslim brotherhood. On those assignments, he was essentially operating as a spy with very specific goals."
"He wasn't handsome. He wasn't ugly. Not tall, nor short, not fat, nor skinny. He decided the best description was non-descript." This would be a benefit for him out in the field because plain people do not get noticed and they do not get remembered. While his plainness did not help in the romance department, it did aid in keeping him unnoticed and thus still alive.
We learn an intriguing aspect of Cord immediately in the first recorded adventure. "Quinton had an aversion to touching raw flesh. Under the counter [in his kitchen] were two new boxes of latex gloves as he had a horror of running out. He didn't even want to think about the reasons".
His quirks, and he has more than one, are interesting to monitor and border on the edge of paranoia and obsession, occasionally crossing the line, but though they make his life more difficult, they also save his life more than once.
Life will change quite a bit, and for the better, when in that first adventure he is pushed to renew a relationship with Lila Carson. She "was as beautiful and smart as they come. And [an] expert in computer coding". She will play a major role in his missions and in his life.