The Fifth Column

The Fifth Column

by Andrew Gross

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“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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250180018
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 5,161
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

ANDREW GROSS is the author of New York Times and international bestsellers The One Man, The Saboteur, The Blue Zone, Don't Look Twice, and The Dark Tide, which was nominated for the Best Thriller of the Year award by the International Thriller Writers, He is also coauthor of several New York Times #1 bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge&Jury and Lifeguard. Gross and his wife Lynn split their time between Florida and Westchester Country, New York. They have three grown children.
ANDREW GROSS is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of several novels, including No Way Back, Everything to Lose, and 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.

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The Fifth Column: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous 25 days ago
This is my third noval by this author. once again, another homerun story. Great characters. A really cool World War 2 spy novel. Would make a great tv movie. Highly recommend.
RICHandNANCY 28 days ago
The Fifth Column by Andrew Gross – 5 Stars Publisher: St, Martin’s Press ISBN: 9781250180001 The fifth Column is very straight forward, enjoyable novel. Although it may lack the complexity and action of so many other spy novels, this novel presented a good history re pre World War II Nazi sympathizers and espionage in America. It was relaxing to read about a common individual, Charles Mossman, who accidently killed a spectator while fending off German loyalists, spent time in prison, lost his graduate teaching job, and lost the trust of his wife. They had a daughter Emma who lived with her mother in Yorkville, NY which is was known as the home of the American German Bund, the pro-Nazi group. Charles’ adventure begins when he is released from prison, visits his daughter, and stumbles across her nanny and friends who don’t seem to be who they say they are. Hint after hint leads him to believe his family has befriended a Nazi espionage group and his prison past doesn’t help in convincing the right people that a spy ring is right there in his wife’s neighborhood. His involvement continues with a lot of twists right up to the end when his daughter’s life is at stake. What were the spies up to? How did he get the evidence he needed? Who did he tell and what were the responses? What was the Nazi goal? How does it end? You’ll have to read it to find out. So, next time you have a yearn for a real good book and need a break from the books that clutter your mind jumping around and requiring you to reread previous sections, pick up this book and have an enjoyable and relaxing page-turner. Reviewer: Rich
calidoc2019 9 days ago
Thank you to NetGalley, Andrew Gross, and St. Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The Fifth Column takes place during WWII but deals with a different side of this war than other books set in this time as it deals with the possibility of German spies living and working on American soil. Charles Mossman is a man who personally spiraled downwards due to his own personal demons - and this ultimately lands him in jail for a couple of years. Upon release, he is trying to rebuild his life when he becomes suspicious of his wife's and daughter's neighbors and embarks on a mission to uncover their nefarious doings. While the story was a bit unbelievable at points as what Charles was doing was way out there and did not ring true, The Fifth Column was a fast-paced, entertaining, and engrossing story. I enjoyed reading a WWII novel dealing with a different issue than is usually written about in stories set in this time period. As long as you can suspend your disbelief a bit, I definitely recommend this novel.
Anonymous 16 days ago
In 1939, Germany is aggressively attacking its European neighbors, but in the United States, the support for entering another war is far from unanimous. In fact, in New York City, there are many pro-Nazi demonstrations and rallies. After one such rally, Charles Mossman is sitting in a bar bemoaning the loss of his job and the seeds of failure of his marriage, when four guys draped in Nazi flags come in and Charlie reacts with tragic results - the death of a teenager and a subsequent prison sentence. Two years later, he is out of prison and is trying to get his life back together. His wife has moved to a small apartment in Yorkville, a NYC neighborhood, with his daughter. During his twice weekly visits, Charlie meets his wife’s neighbors, Trudy and Willi Bauer, who portend to be Swiss citizens and are very fond of Emma. But Charlie notices some strange visitors to the Bauer apartment, and begins to think that all is not what it seems to be. Charlie refuses to step back from what he thinks is some kind of conspiracy, and even the fears of a “fifth column”, an enemy intrusion not on the battlefield, which fuels a well-intentioned, poorly executed adventure to determine what is going on. A good story, but I just did not like the way it was written - Charlie is sort of a bumbling detective, and the “bad guys” are somewhat stereotyped. Nonetheless, it kept my interest despite the fact that I had suspicions early on of what was going on as each new character was introduced. Gross is a good story teller, but not a great writer. My thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this ARC in exchange for my review.
Tomasitoreads 24 days ago
Andrew Gross is a literature legend who doesn't disappoint. He's done it yet again with his latest thriller "The Fifth Column. This fast paced thriller will have you at the end of your seat until the very end begging for more.
fredhandbag 29 days ago
With his book, The Fifth Column, Andrew Gross gives us a closer look at the early days of WW II. "It is 1939 and the Pro-Nazi movement is strong in America. And the Isolationists hold sway in Congress. Charles Mossman makes a terrible mistake and goes to prison for two years. After he gets out, his wife wants a divorce and he struggles to find meaningful work. He meets the nice Swiss couple across the hall from his wife. But...somethings off about them. Who are they really? Charles makes a discovery that puts himself and his family in terrible danger. And now he must make an awful choice." Gross does an excellent job giving us the mood of 1939-41 America. In hindsight we wonder what took so long, but Gross shows us the ugly side of free speech. Mossman, at times, is a hard character to pull for because of his mistakes. But he is willing to do anything for his family. You feel Mossman's frustration as he tries to get someone to believe him. It feels like you know what the ending will be, but Gross adds just enough uncertainty to make you wonder. It was good to read about a period in history that is largely ignored in fiction. With his last four books, Gross has shown he is adept at giving us a good story at different points in history. This is another excellent book from Gross. Fans of historical fiction will love it.
KindleLady 30 days ago
Wonderful tale, it has it all and grabs you and pulls you right in. This is my first Andrew Gross book and now I know why my husband raves about him! 4 -1/2 stars. I received and ARC from NetGalley for my honest opinion.
3no7 3 months ago
“The Fifth Column” by Andrew Gross is a story of domestic terrorism, sleeper cells, and political complications as current as the evening news tonight, but this drama is set in WWII. The “Home Front” during WWII, is not peaceful and quiet with patriotic souls doing their best to support the war effort. The situation in Europe is deteriorating; Hitler threatens to take over everything, and a wave of “America First” proponents advocate ignoring the looming danger. The story opens in February 1939 with a first person narrative by Charles Mossman, whose once-promising career and marriage are now in a downward spiral. He is filled with guilt over the death of twin brother, killed fighting fascists in Spain. Today is their birthday, and not a good day to get into a racially charged bar fight. With one punch, life as he knows it comes crashing to an end. Two years later, 1941, upon being released from jail, Mossman finds the political climate has changed, and circumstances for him, an ex con, are grim. Readers get to know Mossman well as he continues as if giving a report on his life; he shares his feelings about himself, his family, and his life choices. The discourse is factual and emotional at the same time with a hint of self-depreciation as he describes the world and the trickle-down effect of international politics on New York. He recounts specific details of events, “Then there was the time the following week when I was sitting in the Old Heidelberg again on Third Avenue having a coffee.” He talks directly to readers; “I have to admit I felt a little foolish, following them.” Readers hear what he says to others; “’All these customers,’ I said to Emma when we got outside. ‘ Do you know what Uncle Willi and Aunt Trudi do for work?’” Readers listen in as others talk to him; “’You’re suggesting they’re spies . . . ?’ she said, her eyes locked on me. Then she laughed. “’Well, that’s absurd.’” He teases readers with anticipation; “But little did I know.” The story starts slowly and builds in intensity and complexity. Readers wonder how Mossman will fare in the approaching storm and willingly follow him on the perilous journey into it. Mossman’s narrative is occasionally interrupted by other conversations, and readers learn what the narrator does not know … yet. Has Mossman wandered into a nest of German spies or are people overreacting and just seeing spies everywhere? “The Fifth Column” reveals the cost of war on the home front, a subject that is sometimes overlooked in novels set in WW II. Gross creates believable characters, flawed characters, who struggle to balance duty to family, duty to government, and duty to society while fearing that more lives will be lost because the real war is yet to come. I received a review copy of “The Fifth Column” from Andrew Gross, St. Martin’s Press, and Minotaur Books.
trekie83 3 months ago
The Fifth Column by Andrew Gross is a thoroughly engrossing novel. Set in the early days of WW II, Gross has penned a story that makes the reader feel as if they have stepped back in time. Prior to America entering the war, there was widespread division in the country as to whether America should get involved in what many viewed as a purely European conflict. As a result, there was concern about the existence of a movement to undermine America’s well being, a so-called “fifth column.” This novel has an excellent plot, well-developed characters and a flow that will keep the reader interested from the first page to the last. I thoroughly recommend this book and give it 4/5 stars. * A copy of this ebook was the only compensation received in exchange for this review. *
Loy3 3 months ago
The fifth Column is a character driven book by Andrew Gross. I have read many of his books and they have all been good. I was introduced to him in the Blue Zone. This book is set in New York during WW11 before America enters the war. Charles Mossman is a College professor who killed a man in a drunken brawl. He is out of prison and goes to see his wife and daughter. His wife Liz lets him visit his daughter Emily but not come back. He becomes suspicious of the couple next door who seem to not who they appear to be. Charles is a felon and finds it hard to find someone to take him seriously The story of the fifth column, where people are trying to bring down America, is very well written. I read the story in just a couple of sittings. Thank you for an advantage copy for a review Net Galley
Caroles_Random_Life 3 months ago
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.