Cotton Malone is an agent with the Magellan Billet.
The Billet is a division inside the Justice Department that concentrates on international investigations. It is described as “twelve lawyers the Justice Department put together to do some very specialized things.” While not spies per se, their assignments are world-wide, varied, exotic, and highly dangerous. Legal skills are by no means the only abilities Malone had to possess to last as long as he did. The cases these twelve are assigned take them into the most dangerous parts of the world, usually alone and relying only on their training and their wits. Knowing how to shoot and how and when to duck were required skills as well.
As the series begins, Malone is a retired agent, having left the Billet at least a year before after over a dozen years working for it. Tired of the travelling and tired of people taking shots at him, he had moved to Copenhagen, a city he fell in love with during his travels. Using the good graces of a Danish billionaire who feels indebted to him, Malone has opened a rare book store. He had expected his exciting days, which cost him his marriage and for a while his son, were behind him. He was wrong.
Malone is in his early 40s, having been a Navy JAG officer for several years when the offer to join the Billet came. He remains a tall, muscular man with full wavy hair of a light sienna color. He does not show outwardly the abuse his body has taken from his former profession but he feels it nevertheless.
Whether it is continued friendship with his former boss or his association with the influential billionaire or his new closeness to a beautiful, rich, and deadly young woman with an exotic past, Malone is never at a loss of adventure even if he truly wants to stay in his book store and take things easy.
Born: Harold Earl Malone, Thomasville, Georgia. Acquired the nickname “Cotton”, origin undisclosed
Physical traits: 6’0. 195 lbs. Burnished blond hair. Green eyes.
Parents: Forrest and Peggy Jean Malone. Father, served United States Navy, final rank, Commander, lost at sea aboard USS Blazek. Mother still alive, living in Georgia.
Physological note: Though Malone loved and respected his father, he remained angry for years after his father disappeared. The loss was more loneliness that pain. Their time together had been limited to three years, from ages 7-10 (that Malone can recall) and those memories are vague and scattered. He relates that there is never a day he doesn’t think about his father. He never questioned him either. He simply emulated him, sometimes unknowingly. Forrest malone was the last captain of NR-1A, a highly classifies submersible, a career military man and Annapolis graduatThe submarine’s existence and disappearance remains classified. He mentioned twice the fact that there had been no cemetery for him to visit. No remains. Nothing but a classified stamp on a file. Throughout his adult life he wondered what actually happened to his father. Eventually, he conducted an independent investigation, all of which is detailed in a folder titled The Charlemagne Pursuit. Note that Malone continues to harbor deep anger toward the Navy over its handling of his father’s disappearance.
His mother, a native Georgian, worshipped her husband. Malone related that he’s never seen his mother cry, which probably explains his own reluctance to show emotion. Atypical, malone and his mother did not relocate as his father’s duty stations changed. Instead, she maintained a stedy home environment in Georgia. At his father’s memorial service (held after the loss of the Blazek), when the Navy honor guard presented her a folded flag she refused. She never remarried, and still refers to herself as Mrs. Forrest Malone.
Religious affiliation: Malone was born and raised Catholic, though he no longer actively practices the faith.