Monday, October 5, 2015

review: Spanner in the Works

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. 

My Review:

I expected something entirely different, based on the cover. I even went back to read the blurb to see if I had missed something, but no-this book was apparently intended to be light hearted and funny. I guess those things translate differently between America and England.

The characters are dry and lack depth, and while it's a good book if you want to fall asleep, it's not something I would spend money on.

Characters and writing style aside, the actual plot was interesting. I'm sure I might have loved the same story, perhaps written by a ghostwriter.

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