"The Fifth Column", by Andrew Gross
Gross is a master at writing exciting fiction
with a historical background, and he continues
this in "The Fifth Column".
Mossman lives in New York City. It is 1939, and
the 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
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.
the story goes on, Charlie's worst fears are about
to be realized. 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
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.
recommend "The Fifth Column". Fans of
good historical fiction will surely enjoy it.