Trent is an agent of British Intelligence.
Born John Patrick Mahoney, for 19 years of his adult life he specialized in infiltrating terrorist organizations and destroying cells from the inside. His death was wished for by the IRA and PLO as well of several communist nations. Additionally he was sent on loan to the CIA for several top secret missions whose nature was most decidedly wet and illegal.
When a Congressional subcommittee began investigations into these missions and it looked as though Mahoney would be called as a witness as a result of his work with the Agency, his Control and surrogate father felt it best that he "die". A fiery explosion saw the death of Mahoney and the birth of a man known simply as Trent.
Changing his area of operations, Trent is given a very luxurious large catamaran named the Golden Girl and sent to the Caribbean and it is in that locale that most of the stories take place.
Though officially "dead" and unofficially retired, he is still forced at times to return to his old profession to help out. Now in his early 40's, Trent has kept in peak condition maintaining the Golden Girl as he sails about the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. He has several good friends who know enough to not ask questions about his past and he is there for them when they need help.
Trent does not miss the excitement of his previous life but it seems to miss him enough to come calling quite often.
The Golden Girl series was a concept suggested by, and apparently partially plotted by, the late thriller expert, Alistair MacLean shortly before his death.