The Secret Trilogy traces the life in espionage of the Railton family.
It is a three-book series which depicts in splendid detail the history of the modern British Intelligence system, as told through the lives of the Railton family members. This fictitious clan's saga starts before the bloodshed of the First World War and moves through the decades until the late 1970's.
At the head of the Railton family, and the chief architect of the spy organization he would help build, is Giles. This is a dedicated and quite ruthless man who is determined to build an international network of spies. To do so, he uses each member of his family as pawns, to be protected when possible but sacrificed when necessary for the common good.
Also playing a major role is an American family of the name Farthings, as comparable to the CIA as the Railtons were to MI-6. Each has its natural leaders and willing followers; each suffer from distrust from outsiders and worry about double agents on the inside but neither family ever really verge from their dedication to their trade and when the two families interact, the conflict between devotion to family and country versus following one's heart grows strong.
This is an epic tale, encompassing a wide assortment of people with individual foibles and strengths. In the books, the reader grows to know and like or hate many characters but even more, the reader watches the world change with and sometimes because of them.
There has not been another series written that has such an intense and wide vision.