Layne Parrish is an agent with an unnamed organization.
Was an agent, when we first meet him. He has quit and quit for good and vowed never ever to go back to work for the people he has served for so many years, doing things that he does not want to have to think about and would be greatly saddened if his daughter ever learned of them.
Very telling about the type of work that Parrish did for the department is when Daphne tells him he is in Australia because someone is going to assassinate the governor of Victoria in four days, Parrish's first question is, "Am I killing the governor or stopping the person who's going to kill him?" (For the record, it was to stop the killing.)
On that first encounter, Parrish is living in the small town of South Fork, Colorado (population 350) happily no longer being an operative sent throughout the world fighting the country's enemies. He had had enough of that life, joining the group when he was 24 years old and staying with them for 15 years.
Parrish is a 40-year-old "beefy man with buzzcut blond hair" threaded with gray, crow's-feet are around his eyes with wrinkles lining his square-jawed face like bitter scalpel slashes. He is still in impressive shape considering his age and the fact that he was more or less retired. Of course the kind of work he is doing about his mountain home is grueling so his muscles remain toned. The question that arises when he is forced back into his former occupation is whether his mind is still as sharp as it was. For reasons I have yet to learn, he has tattoos of a cherub on each of his forearms.
The main reason Parrish quit, other than he was very tired of the killing he invariably had to do on his missions, was 3-year-old Cameron. That little girl, his daughter, was his pride and joy and, he knew it was not just sentiment, his life. Her mother had left for California and a new life but Cameron stayed with him much of the time and he treasured every moment.
All of which makes it more and more annoying when life comes calling and pulls him back into that former life.