Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
The fifth column
2019
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Where is it?' section below.
Where is it?
Summary

"One of the best historical thriller authors in the business... [A] stellar novel." --Associated Press

#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.

Trade Reviews
Booklist Review
At one point in this fine adventure, set in the 1940s, someone observes that Alfred Hitchcock would surely have some fun with this story. Well, Hitch did. Parts of it seem like Notorious, others recall Foreign Correspondent, and, oh yes, there's some North by Northwest in there, too. The hero is an everyday bloke doing his best in the edgy world of 1941. Hitler's regime has turned savage. Austria has been annexed, Poland invaded, hell is raining on London daily. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Charles Mossman is attempting to reconnect with his beloved six-year-old daughter, Emma, after a separation from his wife. During his visits to his wife's Yorkville apartment, Mossman meets the charming, middle-age Swiss couple down the hall. But then Mossman hears something and notices a coded strip of paper in the Swiss couple's kitchen. Attempts to alert the authorities are rebuffed, and he becomes a target of this Nazi conspiracy. Gross has created a thriller that works like a piece of fine machinery. Everything makes a point, there are no wasted moments, no striving for literature. Just a straight-ahead thriller, and a very good one.--Don Crinklaw Copyright 2010 Booklist
Map It
Fiction/Biography Profile
Large Cover Image
Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1