Pierre Farag is an agent with British Intelligence.
So is his wife, Zouzou Faris, at least once she meets Farag and then later marries him.
When we first meet Farag, he is a private investigator living and operating in Cairo. He is, from the sound of things, quite good at his job and "had a clutch of chauffeurs in his shabkah - the network of snouts and stoolpigeons who kept his private investigation firm in business. Chauffeurs, waiters, doormen - these were the people who knew who was freshly arrived in Cairo, who owed money, who was visiting somebody they shouldn't."
His nationality was Egyptian even though his first name would lead people to think otherwise. "He'd spent his thirty-three years weaving a middle course between the Armenians on his mother's side and the Copts on his father's. He was Bedros to his mother's people, Boutros to his late father's. But to anyone with money to spend, he was Pierre Farag, and that's all you get, thank you very much."
For all his contacts and relationships, Farag remains a man who prefers to not be noticed. He consistently dressed in a conservative and unassuming manner so as to not draw attention to himself, giving him more opportunity to do the observing.
Farag is not a rich man; he does alright in his profession and certainly enjoys it but the money does not regularly pour in so like most of us, when a legal opportunity presents itself, he is seldom in a position to say no to it. This dedication to his work means, at least up until we meet him, he is single and has no steady love interest - the every two weeks visit to the older woman named Sandrine for 'practicalities' notwithstanding.
This bachelorhood will come to an end quite quickly after he is reconnected to the beautiful and tempestuous Zouzou Paris, a childhood sweetheart who had made a major name for herself in the European film industry. Their old flames will be rekindled and she will become nearly as important in his escapades as he is - certainly a good deal more attractive.
Farag does not ever go looking for cases which would put him in deep involvement with security personnel or spies or other such denizens of the shadows. He is a private eye and likes it and wants to keep doing it. Unfortunately, some of the cases that are handed to him will force his participation in their activities.
- About an Egyptian police detective, "[His] paranoia about wire-tapping had reached a point where a normal telephone conversation was a masterpiece of obfuscation."