Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Review - The Fifth Column by Andrew Gross #readinginsidersclub

The Fifth Column by Andrew Gross
Publisher: St. Martins Press - Minotaur Books
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Date Read: September 7, 2019
Length: 336 pages
Source: Publisher

#1 New York Times bestselling author of The One Man Andrew Gross once again delivers a tense, stirring thriller of a family torn apart set against the backdrop of a nation plunged into war.

February, 1939. Europe teeters on the brink of war. In New York City, twenty-two thousand cheering Nazi supporters pack Madison Square Garden for a raucous, hate-filled rally. In a Hell’s Kitchen bar, Charles Mossman is reeling from the loss of his job and the demise of his marriage when a group draped in Nazi flags barges in. Drunk, Charlie takes a swing at one with tragic results and a torrent of unintended consequences follows.

Two years later. America is wrestling with whether to enter the growing war. Charles’s estranged wife and six-year-old daughter, Emma, now live in a quiet brownstone in the German-speaking New York City neighborhood of Yorkville, where support for Hitler is common. Charles, just out of prison, struggles to put his life back together, while across the hall from his family, a kindly Swiss couple, Trudi and Willi Bauer, have taken a liking to Emma. But Charles begins to suspect that they might not be who they say they are.

As the threat of war grows, and fears of a “fifth column”—German spies embedded into everyday life—are everywhere, Charles puts together that the seemingly amiable Bauers may be part of a sinister conspiracy. When Pearl Harbor is attacked and America can no longer sit on the sideline, that conspiracy turns into a deadly threat with Charles the only one who can see it and Emma, an innocent pawn.
My Review

This was really good!  I have read several books written by this author in the past and have had quite a bit of luck with them so I had a pretty good idea what to expect when I picked up this book.  I found this to be a very enjoyable read.  It was fast-paced with a rather complex mystery set during a really interesting period of time.

Charles Mossman is at a rather low point at the start of this story.  His career and his marriage are not in great shape and he is spending a lot of time at the local bar with a drink in his hand.  Things get out of hand and Charlie learns that things be so much worse than they had been.  The story picks up again a couple of years later and Charlie is wanting to make amends and get his life back.  He wants a relationship with his wife and daughter and will do what needs to be done to make that happen. 

Charlie soon meets all of the people that are now a part of his daughter, Emma's life.  He has a bad feeling about one particular couple.  Things just don't seem to add up so Charlie starts to check things out on his own.  I had a fantastic time watching Charlie try to puzzle through what was really going on.  There were a lot of twists and turns that I didn't see coming.  I loved how determined Charlie was and how he was able to maintain his focus.

I did like the characters and the setting.  Charlie was flawed but he was working to make a better life.  He understood that he would have to work to earn back the trust of others and didn't expect too much.  He was intelligent and determined.  I liked that the supporting characters were fleshed out just enough that they felt real but they still had a bit a mystery to them.  I thought that the time period was very well done.  This book was set in the period of time just before the United States entered World War II.  I thought that seeing Nazi sympathizers as a key part of the story was very eye-opening. 

I would recommend this book to others.  I thought that this was a very well done thriller with an interesting historical backdrop that kept me guessing until the very end.  I will definitely be reading more of Andrew Gross's work.

I received a free review copy of The Fifth Column by Andrew Gross from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author

ANDREW GROSS is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of nine novels, including No Way Back, Everything to Lose, and most recently, One Mile Under. He is also coauthor of five #1 New York Times bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. His books have been translated into over 25 languages. He lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife, Lynn. They have three children.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

8 comments:

  1. I love reading Historical novels set in this period. Though I always approach them with great trepidation. This sounds something up my alley!

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  2. I hope they are spies not so he does not suspect them for nothing

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  3. This one does sound fab. I read a book a few years ago where there were Nazi sympathizers and even further, these were wealthy, powerful people and part of the American version of that party.
    Charles sounds like the kind of hero I could cheer for. I'll have to add this one to the list.

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  4. This sounds fascinating and the type of historical I would enjoy. Excellent review!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

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  5. It has been so many years since I read a thriller (particularly a historical thriller) like this. But this sounds so good! I like stories where everyone seems blind to a particular threat but the main character sees it. And of course no one believes them.

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  6. I do enjoy historical thrillers. So does my sister. Have to tell her about this one.

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  7. The only Andrew Gross book I read was one he co-wrote with James Patterson. I can't remember what book it was though!

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  8. I didn't know he also wrote historical mysteries! I will have to check this one out.

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