There may be no more exciting, compelling, or believable series character in the techno-thriller genre today than author Mark Terry’s Dr. Derek Stillwater. Stillwater is a troubleshooter for The Department Of Homeland Security. He’s also a tough, no nonsense guy, a bit of a loner, and has little patience for red tape or procedure. Derek doesn't stand on protocol, he crushes its neck under his foot. Especially when it gets in the way of his goal, which is usually tracking down terrorists and foiling their destructive aims. But, he’s no superman, and has plenty of human traits that make him as vulnerable as the man next door. But he is relentless and not the guy that terrorists want on their tail.
Because of Derek’s relentlessness, he has often broken the rules in pursuit of the bad guys. This gets him on the bad side of some of the inevitable political and power hungry overseers, associates, and subordinates from time to time and throughout the series (The Sins of the Father is book six and there are some short stories too.) but his successes overrule those who would stand on decorum. And, speaking of decorum, Derek blurs that line, like a batter erasing the back line of the batters box. On one such occasion, he crossed that line with Russian agent Irina Khournikova.
In Sins of the Father, that indiscretion has come back to haunt him. He travels to Russia to check into the death of Irina, with whom, he finds out, he fathered a son with. Naturally, just as he often runs into inter-agency rivalries in the U.S., he runs into resistance from Irina’s employer, the Russian FSB (their intelligence service). The FSB doesn’t want him meddling in an active investigation, both for fear he’ll embarrass them professionally, and that he may expose truths that could prove politically inconvenient if shown to the world. But Derek has never been one to spare the oppositions feelings, or indeed the feelings of agency heads and field agents in his own country.