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The Fifth Column

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  827 ratings  ·  180 reviews
#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
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  827 ratings  ·  180 reviews

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Andrew Gross writes my favorite historical thrillers.

(I thought I added my review earlier, but it wasn’t here! )

Andrew Gross is the master of powerful historical thrillers. No one writes them the same way.

It’s 1939, and the world is gearing up for possible war. A Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden brings over twenty thousand Nazi supporters to the area. A group draped in Nazi flags comes into the bar where Charles Mossman is, a man who has recently lost his job and his marriage.

On edge,
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Andrew Gross’s latest historical thriller, complicated sociopolitical dynamics from the late 1930s surround a conspiracy uncovered involving the U.S. government and a secret fifth column of German spies living on US soil. The Fifth Column is particularly fascinating because it is set in a time period that I don’t often see explored in fiction, particularly in the thriller genre. Intricately plotted and so entertaining!

Columbia graduate student Charles Mossman is drinking at a bar in
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

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
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-2019, nov-19
Andrew Gross has quickly become one of my favourite authors in the historical fiction/thriller genre. "The One Man" and "Button Man" were both 5 star reads for me and now I can add "The Fifth Column".
This story tells of the Nazi sympathizers and potential saboteurs in NY before the U.S. entered WWII beginning with the pro-Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden.
Charles Mossman, apart from his wife and young daughter, uncovers signs that his wife's neighbours are Nazi spies. He will do anything to
Erin Clemence
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This review is for the audiobook version of “The Fifth Column” by Andrew Gross, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini and published by Macmillan Audio.

Audio: 5 stars Edoardo Ballerini is an award winning actor and narrator, and was the narrator on Gross’ “The One Man”. Ballerini switches between accents, genders and ages throughout this novel with ease, and his passionate dictation keeps a listener engaged from the very start. Well-performed, Ballerini is a great choice for this novel.

Story: 5
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars, actually.

As a general rule, I don't enjoy books, movies or TV shows that involve battles, conflicts and wars. I've even given up on a couple of previously favorite authors because the focus of their latest books shifted too heavily in that direction. So when I started this one, I was more than a bit wary. Can't imagine I'll like it much, I said to myself.

And it just goes to show me not to prejudge. Not only did I enjoy it, but I finished it in only two sittings. In fact, it's a very
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Andrew Gross is one of my favorite authors and The Fifth Column, his newest book, rose beyond my expectations. I listened to The Fifth Column on audio CD and couldn't get enough of it. Every time I think that Andrew Gross had written the best novel he will ever write, he surprises me and surpasses my expectations. He is a creative genius. I love how his story lines draw me in. The character and plot development was brilliant. I am usually drawn to books about WWII but this one had a different ...more
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounding up because he has terrific historical fiction thrillers! Really enjoyed that this took place on American soil but still delivered a powerful war story.
Karen Rush
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is pre-WWII and war is waging in Europe though the US has not yet entered the war. There are significant nazi sympathizers in the US who defend Hitler and the Germans, holding large scale rallies, planning and carrying out acts of sabotage.

This is a fast-paced and intricate tale of one man’s efforts to report the nazi sympathizers and saboteurs. A great read with surprising twists and turns along this Patriot’s journey to defend his country, his family and his heritage.
Marilyn Mays
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was expecting a more in-depth plot for a thriller centered around “sleeper agents”. Nazis hidden in plain sight should be a horrifying idea in any context, yet somehow this book lacks emotional depth. It isn’t a bad story for romantic suspense readers but historians will be very disappointed.
Donna Hines
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
It's a time of great turmoil as Europe is on the brink of war and Nazi supporters are growing by the numbers.
So much so they enter the bar in which Charlie works and that begins the change of his life.
Two years pass and now it's time to put up or shut up and join the war.
However, Charlie alongside his estranged wife and 6yo daughter Emma are simply trying to survive and move forward not wishing for any more toxicity in their lives.
Meanwhile, another couple take a liking in Emma and it has
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, overdrive
I’ve read four books by this author and “The One Man” is the only one I liked. This book had cartoon Nazis and a bumbling protagonist. The author spoon fed bits of history. I already knew that Lindbergh was a Nazi sympathizer, but even if I hadn’t known it there was no reason to repeat that fact over and over. There was a good plot but not great execution.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I should start by saying I grew up in post WWII Yorkville hearing stories about the activities of the German Bund In the area. In fact, I was not allowed to go to several stores and restaurants in the area because my parents remembered them having Nazi flags and signs in their windows. So, I was deeply impressed by the knowledge and research that Gross put into writing this thriller.

Despite the insertion of the Mossman family in the book, many of the events are true. Submarines coming to
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Jeff Swystun
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
The first 50 pages promised a much better story than the result. The setting, main character, and predicament to that point, were finely etched and compelling. It felt very authentic to the time. Soon, however, it dissolves into a cheesy 1940's serial with wooden, stereotypical characters. In fact, the whole book gets wooden. Any twists are predictable so the 322 pages drag rather than speed up. I kept hoping for a turnaround.
Edwin Palmer
Sep 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Trite and predictable

The story is extremely contrived. Language quite stilted. The story itself had possibilities, but not in this author’s hands. Very disappointing.
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a free “THE FIFTH COLUMN” BY ANDREW GROSS from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.
I found this book to actually be a suspenseful book at times, full of mystery and intrigue as you follow Charlie and the choices he had made from when he was a professor and lost his job. Which began the fall of his marriage, due to his drinking.
Drinking is where we find Charlie in 1939 and he is depressed because of his job being gone, no way to support his family and losing his brother who
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
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
Barbara Nutting
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A little disappointed in this one - not what I expected from one of my favorite authors. This seemed more like a love story than an in depth look at the Fifth Column during World War II.

It was well written and had some suspenseful moments but just seemed to lack something. The Google account of the Duquesne Spy Ring was more interesting than the book. The novel didn’t factually cover the true story.

*Amazed that most of the reviews just rehash the story - so annoying, why do people do that? You
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I read one other book by this author and this was well reviewed so I gave it a shot. While it’s an interesting plot (Nazi spies in Manhattan during the lead up to US entry into WWII) the characters, especially the Germans, are cartoonish, the dialogue seemed very stilted. I only gave it a third star because it was fast paced. The protagonist is an idiot. He endangers his own life as well as others by his reckless and careless behavior, I almost started rooting for the Nazis to finish him off and ...more
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
P.S.G. Lopes
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am grateful to have received the galley for this book through #NetGalley. I normally don’t read this genre of books but I was very pleasantly surprised when reading this one. I am a fan of history, particularly American history, especially during both World Wars. I found the topic wildly intriguing and I found the characters to be so wonderfully flawed and real and the whole story was so captivating from beginning to end. I was hooked pretty much from the beginning of the book. It was ...more
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Charlie Mossman, recently released from prison after serving two years for manslaughter, begins to reconnect with his daughter, Emma and estranged wife Liz. The neighbors across the hall from Liz and Emma come under suspicion from Charlie that they are Nazi spies, not the charming Swiss couple everyone else believes them to be. So Charlie sets out to investigate.

What ensues is an engrossing read. The interactions between Charlie and Emma were very well written as was the investigation. The plot
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Geri by:

Andrew Gross is one of my favorites
Really enjoyed this and think you all will too.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's 1939 and there is the threat of war. German spies lurk everywhere. Charles Mossman is simply sitting in a bar drinking away his sorrows, when a group of Nazi supporters barge in. He becomes involved in a tragedy ending in the death of a young man. Charles needs to redeem himself to his young daughter and his ex-wife. He visits his daughter and notices some strange happenings surrounding the Swiss couple across the hall who are dear friends of his wife and daughter. Are these people to be ...more
Lorin Cary
Nov 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This novel rests on the reality of white nationalism in the U.S. during the late 1930s and early 1940s, before the U.S. enters the war. A Madison Square Garden rally of 20,000 Nazis in early 1939 is the jumping off point as Charles Mossman, drunk, encounters rowdy followers and tragedy ensues. He ends up in jail and his marriage, already on shaky grounds because of his drinking, falls apart. Out of prison he strives to rebuild his life and begins to encounter neighbors of his estranged wife who, ...more
Kathleen Gray
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Charlie Mossman is utterly convinced that there's something fishy about Willi and Trudi Bauer, neighbors of his estranged wife Liz and much loved little daughter Emma. It's 1941 and he's pretty sure they aren't Swiss and that they aren't the kindly couple they want people to think they are. Charlie's got a problem though- he was arrested and served time for an assault which resulted in the death of a young man and he has a history of drinking. This means no one listens to him- even though he ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Jenny Jo Weir
Another good book from Andrew. He doesn’t disappoint. This book had intrigue, mystery and relatable characters. I love how he pulled everything together in this one.
January Gray
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Andrew Gross never fails to delver a great book! Tightly written, excellent plot! You are on the edge of your seat when reading this book!
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