A?Spanner in the Works is a light-hearted and comical novel combined with a political thriller... Toby Shanks is a walking disaster zone devoid of sense, style or any other redeeming feature. This low-flying civil servant stumbles through his career pausing only to cause havoc through his ineptitude. Rather than sacking him, his public sector employers promote him and transfer him on to unsuspecting colleagues. Toby Shanks rises through the ranks of the civil service on the back of his blunders until a clerical error lands him a glamorous role in the government’s publicity agency. As Toby struggles ineffectively to come to terms with his new job, a politically embarrassing incident brings him to the attention of the Russian secret service and he falls in to the amorous clutches of one of their top agents, Helga Schmitt. The lovestruck Toby is manipulated in to a high-level position by the Russians and unwittingly primed to deliver a devastating blow to Trans-Atlantic relationships, just as the new US President arrives on a state visit. Having revealed to Parliament that his employer is spying on behalf of the CIA, Toby is targeted for elimination by the security services of Britain, Russia and the USA. As the vengeful elite forces of the superpowers close in on the hapless Toby he unexpectedly finds himself face to face with the leaders of the free world in a cobbled alley in East London. And he has a loaded gun in his hand.