J. B. Collins is a reporter.
His job title is that of foreign correspondent for the New York Times. As he tells us in the first recorded adventure, he is a "part of an elite group, a small cadre of foreign correspondents whose lives were devoted to covering wars and rumors of war, revolutions, chaos, and bloodshed of all kinds. It's what I'd gone to school for, nearly twenty years earlier. It's what I'd been doing for the New York Daily News and the Associated Press and the Times ever since. I loved it. I lived for it."
He goes on to talk about how some said his devotion to such dangerous action was due to an addiction and those like Collins were "adrenaline junkies". He certainly does not go to any effort to counter that argument. "To me, risk was part of my job, and it was a job my colleagues told me I wasn't half-bad at. I had won an award for covering a Delta Force firefight in Kandahar, Afghanistan, with another Times reporter in 2001. And I had even won a Pulitzer for a series of articles I wrote in 2003 when I was embedded with the First Brigade of the U.S. Army's Third Infantry Division as they stormed Baghdad. The awards were gratifying. But I didn't do this to win awards. I did it because I loved it. I did it because I couldn't imagine doing anything else."
In addition to spending a lot of his professional time next to the troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq, he also spent a good amount of time with the native soldiers the Americans were helping train. And he "loved having beers and trading gossip with the spooks from Langley and MI6 and every other intelligence agency on the planet who had come to play in the Big Game".
Collins' interests in foreign affairs got its start with 'war stories' told him by his grandfather, legendary foreign journalist A.B. Collins, the father figure for the then teenaged J.B. when his father ran off when J.B. was 12. It was the elder Collins who would go on to teach the younger one not only the love of the good story in war-torn areas but also how to fish and hunt, the latter's use of weapons being a very useful skill when heading into areas where everyone, it seemed, had a rifle.
Collins' membership in this compendium comes because his investigations will take him into the camp of, and later hunt for, a notorious Islamic terrorist, put him deeply in the search for the American Chief Executive when that man goes missing, and trying to convince an American leadership that their belief that ISIS was all but crushed was woefully inaccurate and that a major attack in America was imminent.