Simon Shard is a Detective Chief Superintendent of Special Branch.
He is a man of considerable experience and not a little weariness from it all. Married to his one true love of many years, Beth, Shard was relatively content with his position and his rank. When the offer to move from Special Branch to the Foreign Office came, he was not interested. Still the offer came from a man who, though disliked by Shard, was nevertheless helpful throughout his career. Reluctantly, Shard switched.
Bosses change on occasion and Shard's did, to Shard disappointment. His boss is now the un-liked and often un-likeable Hedge. The name "Hedge" is actually not his real name but more the customary name given the head of the Special Services division, whoever he may be, but this one enjoys using it almost as a title instead of a name. Hedge himself answers to a superior but since glory usually rises, Shard's successes make Hedge look far better than he would otherwise. Luckily for Shard, Hedge is well aware of the fact and, though he does not often show his appreciation, at least he is honest enough with himself to admit it to himself. This give Shard a tad bit of breathing room at time; not much but some.
It is Shard's duty to investigate crimes that Special Branch might have handled but which have too close a connection to the Foreign Office or to other countries. For diplomacy sake, if nothing else, Special Services steps in. This invariably leaves Shard holding a very hot potato. He can call upon MI-5 or MI-6, depending on the case, but Hedge prefers that his department handle it alone as often as it can since this is less glory to share.
Over time Shard's star rises a bit, which is only fair considering the excellent work he does, but Shard stays the same - as dependable, intelligent, mystery-loving, family man who never gets too excited about anything, even if the cases he handles get plenty exciting.