Peter Rourke is an agent with the CIA.
Known as a reporter assigned to the Washington bureau of the North American Newspaper Syndicate, a well-respected news service, apparently akin to AP and UPI, he has reported events all over the globe. While not at the top of his field, he is certainly respected and accepted.
Such is his cover as a reporter which he uses to get him into places with less attention as might normally occur.
Rourke is in his late thirties, plain looking but with a charm that pleases the opposite sex. Moderately tall, 6'2", with arms longer than normal, he has broad shoulders which can give him a daunting appearance when desired but he can a less threatening countenance with which to move easily in a crowd. When he was younger he had the look of a professional boxer but now, older and with gray streaking through his otherwise dark hair, he gives the appearance of a veteran outdoorsman, a man who has faced his share of inclement weather.
In keeping with the spies of his era, he has a small arsenal of tricky gadgets to help him survive, including a small ballpoint pen that also shoots a .28 bullet. He uses them now but can remember when it was just his wits that meant survival, having been an operative with the Agency now for many years. He joined shortly after its creation, having just been discharged from the military after serving in WWII as a radio operation with the Army Air Corps operating in China. His knowledge of the Indochina area is often put to use as an agent and it is in that region that the three-book series takes place.