Desaix Clark is international crisis manager employed by the State Department.
More of a political thriller series than spy fiction, this series nevertheless belongs because it pushes the hero into international intrigue and highly dangerous situations. This is somewhat verified with the first thoughts that Clark has in the series, "the first rule of crisis management is that there are no rules."
At 48 when the series begins, Clark is a noted psychiatrist who uses this training and his keen intellect to help defuse situations. In that capacity, he holds the position of Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He is described as having "swarthy good looks and dark, penetrating eyes" but this is a bit countered by the fact that there was "something about him that looked dissipated, even unsavory." His look is referred to as "licentious" at times, something he has to guard against but might have come from an upbringing in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It is interesting that it is noted his unusual first name Desaix rhymes with betray.
A very intelligent man, Clark knows that sometimes situations cannot be solved through negotiations; action is often needed and that usually means putting your life on the line. He is willing to do so, but battling the nation's enemies is often made harder when you have to battle your own side as well. His survival often relies on Clark's second, third, and fourth rules of crisis management, which are "control, control, and control."