Lyndsey Duncan is an agent with the CIA.
She is considered by some to be one of the best at her job and well worth keeping, though in all honesty she is considered by others to be a pain in the neck and someone who should be sent packing.
When we first meet her she is recently moved back to the States from a posting in Lebanon and is on adminstrative leave pending a decision as to really which of those sides have won. When she got the early morning call insisting she report to work far sooner than she had been told to expect, she figured the worst but she would find this was one of those times her hunches were wrong. She was still needed.
Duncan has been with the Agency for just over a decade, coming to work for it immediately after graduation from college. They had been interested in her thanks to her ever-increasing skillset with lie-detection:
"She can still remember the presentation that she gave to the recruiters. The slides she'd prepared based on her psychology studies in college, the index cards she'd held in her damp hands. Ninety percent of all people will lie consistently. The average person will tell three lies every ten minutes. I can predict when someone is lying with greater accuracy than a polygraph. Not that polygraphs were very accurate, but she knew that was what the Agency used. She thought they'd laugh at her, but the recruiter loved her research. Turned out CIA was very interested in knowing when someone was lying to them."
Duncan is in her early 30s, hailing from a small town in Pennsylvania where she had been raised by her single-parent mother. She is technically single, the relationship she had just ended (or perhaps had ended for her) being the reason for her forced return to America and her suspension pending review. CIA rules say she should not have been as close to a foreign national has she had been and certainly not one who had been an intelligence officer for another country like Davis Ranford from the UK had been for her.
Watching Duncan use her unique skill at reading people, especially detecting when they are being less than truthful, if not outright lying is interesting and enjoyable as not only are the signs she picks up on often subtle, the recounting of her detecting them is also often understated, making them even more savory.
- Regarding her suspension for breaking rules that many others had and not been punished, "Who does the breaking is as important as which rule was broken".