Top positive review
A Very Good Historical Fiction Novel
Reviewed in the United States on October 29, 2019
Andrew Gross is a master at writing exciting fiction with a historical background, and he continues this in "The Fifth Column".
Charlie Mossman lives in New York City. It is 1939, and world tensions are high, as the Nazis have taken power in Germany. Charlie has lost his job and is drinking away his sorrows when a group of thugs barge into the bar. Draped in Nazi regalia, these men have come for trouble. Charlie gets in a fight, and tragic consequences follow for him.
Two years later, in 1941, Charlie's estranged wife Liz and daughter Emma are living in a small apartment in Yorkville, a center for German Americans. These people openly support Hitler and his policies. Paroled from prison, Charlie hopes to revive his relationship with his wife and daughter. An elderly couple live across the hall from Charlie's wife. These people have taken a liking to Charlie's family. They claim to come from Switzerland, but Charlie has strong doubts about them.
As the story goes on, Charlie's worst fears are about to be realized, and Emma becomes a pawn in a struggle between Charlie and the elements of the Fifth Column. Has Charlie gotten in over his head? Will he be able to rescue his daughter before it's too late?
I've become a big fan of Andrew Gross, and I've really enjoyed his other historical works, including "The One Man", "The Saboteur", and " Button Man". This book fits in nicely with Gross' previous works. The story is interesting, with its historical backdrop of New York City just before the outbreak of the war, and it builds in suspense throughout the book. The characters are well-developed, especially Trudi and Willi Bauer.
I highly recommend "The Fifth Column". Fans of good historical fiction will surely enjoy it.