Max Geller is an agent with the CIA.
Well, okay, was is a far more accurate description of his employment status. We learn the discrepancy right away in the first recorded adventure as we meet Geller as he sits at just past three in the afternoon in a bar called Lenny's nursing a scotch and "wondering how my career, my love life, and my country could have been ruined by just one man-the President of the United States".
He had been a employee of the Agency for a full decade and had thought that there would be an almost war in the bidding for his services but he had been proven wrong; "maybe the rumor that the Agency might revoke my top-secret clearance was the reason".
Geller's release from his job at Langley came as a result of his very strong disapproval of the current Chief Executive. That in itself would not be enough to be let go, assuming a person kept his opinions to himself. Geller did not, though to be fair to him he voiced his vehement opinions to his live-in girlfriend Claudia. Unfortunately she was a reporter and she got them published and since it was easily shown that Geller had foolishly used his official company email account to correspond with her, his subsequent appeal for wrongful dismissal was, as he was told, dead-in-the-water.
So we have Geller in a bar with no immediate prospects. Then he gets a visit from a lawyer who represents people who would like him to investigate the validity of the "Ironside Dossier", widely rumored in DC to show the President's intimate connection with Russia. They are willing to pay a very large sum for positive, certain proof.
Geller says yes. And soon he learns that his old boss at the CIA, Rodney, wants the same thing from him, as do a group inside Langley. Suddenly Geller, formerly with the CIA, is sort of, in a weird way, back with them. Or not.
Of course, in addition to the normal set of problems expected in stealing very top secret intelligence from the powers that be in the Kremlin, there will be a not-inconsequential matter of a man named Zabluda, a top Russian assassin, who is making it his life's work to destroy anyone who posed any sort of threat to the security of that document. Geller will be placed at the top of his list of targets.
- When a lawyer talking with Geller assure him he is not a threat, Geller replies, "Every lawyer is a threat".