Malcolm Kenton is an engineer.
Before he started the incredible Dorian Silk series of espionage stories, the author wrote this five-book series about a construction engineer who, while plying his trade in the Far East, gets tangled in a web of intrigue for which he is woefully unequipped to handle.
Kenton was the darling of the construction community back in England. With his two brothers, he started a building company. One brother ran the finances, another handled the contracts and day-to-day, and Malcolm was the engineer. Contracts both domestic and foreign flocked their way and life was good.
The deteriorating relationship he had with his long-time love, though, started him on the road to heavy drinking and his work began to suffer. It is at that point that a contract in a new area of the world for the Kentons came up and the chance to get him away from his troubles seemed perfect.
Usually, though, throwing a drowning man into a different pond is not a recipe for success. For Kenton, it certainly wasn't as he has to deal with the prospects of sobriety mixing in with subterfuge and skullduggery he has never experienced before.
This is not to imply that Kenton is a total fish out of water, far from it. During WWII, Kenton had more than his share of adventures serving in the British Army in North Africa and spearheading bridge construction and the like for the advancing troops. These, though, were as part of a team with other armed men helping to cover his back. Now he was pretty well on his own and the bullets flying were just a deadly.
Through all his adventures, he doesn't give up his love of the drink but he does gain a bit of his old respect back.