A veil of darkness is falling over the world and protests, fights and danger is in every corner . Some have come to America hiding their true cause as they become assimilated into our lives, pretending to be something they are not but, here to promote their hidden agendas and strike at the heart of our beliefs and democracy. The time period is right before the Second World War and the publicist being subjected to Nazi sympathizers and many who are here to further Hitler’s cause and agenda. Charles Mossman finds himself the object of ridicule and attack in a bar filled with patrons when several men draped in Nazi flags come into Hell’s Kitchen Bar and things get out of control leaving Charles in the hands of the police as a fight ensues and he accidentally hits and kills a young teen winding up spending two years in prison. Here is where his life takes on a darker turn as he’s released from prison and his Uncle Eddie gets him but, he’s totally alone. First on his agenda is to reconnect with his young daughter, Emma and wife Liz. Children are and Emma beams when she sees her father, but Liz is apprehensive and distant. Hiding behind her feelings is the fact that she might have moved on and two neighbors Trudi and Willi Bauer claiming to be Swiss but as you get to know them better the reader realizes that they are if German decent and hidden beneath their smiles are two German spies part of what is called The Fifth Column. They are s group of spies that are comprised of people that operate traitorously, subversively out of sympathy with an enemy of their country.
It’s not illegal to be a Nazi sympathizer but as the story unfolds and you get to know the Bauers you can feel the danger coming as Emma relates certain words she learned from them or heard and the one that sends Charlie on his own hunt for justice and truth means the future in English.
Willi and Trudi have endeared themselves into Emma and Liz’s lives and although Charles learns facts and information about them in unusual and illegal ways, Liz refuses to believe him even things evidence he finds and sees should have red flagged them .
A mysterious woman named Noelle comes into the picture as Charles gets closer to her, tells her what he’s learned about the Bauer’s and hopes to use his connections at the college where he teaches to help her with getting her studies and she with connections to our State department promises to put him in touch with a man who might help deal with the Bauers. But, when Charles goes hunting and snooping in their apartment and Emma witnesses it, the result is a confrontation with Liz and things take a serious downward turn.
Trudi and Willi realize that Charlie might be on to them, but will they act and come at him or will someone close to Charlie he the object of their revenge?
Charlie met with someone from the state department and explained what he observed about the Bauers and what he found in their apartment. Then decided to look further and realized that some Was about to happen little did he know that he’d observe German spies and you know the significance of December 6,1941. Imagine seeing it unfold. A German sub in American waters and beer kegs but what was in them as Charles escaped being caught and then related what he saw to Latimer of the State Department and handed over the photos but something about him gave me the chills.
Then a message is received, and Charlie becomes a pawn in a dangerous situation that would impact the lives of Americans if the Bauers succeeded and he carried out his role in a plot that was diabolical and yet to the Bauers flawless.
A father who risked it all , realized his mistakes and only wanted his family back after going through a downward spiral and slope. Sometimes your life takes on a dangerous turn, no one trusts or believes your words and then fate plays a hand and the final answers and solution just might change our main character that you grow to respect as the novel moves forward.
Enter a man named Fiske who befriended Charlie, but could he be trusted as Emma’s life was at stake and the Bauers would not hesitate to kill her or him in the end. With the bartender that served him as part of their group, a man from the State Department that set him up and a little girl’s life on the line would he manage to free Emmy, learn where she was taken and have Liz believe him and trust in him to find Emma? Author Andrew Gross sends up huge flares, weapons drawn, and the battle lines defined as Charles Mossman risks it all with a high voltage ending that will give you heart palpitations until the final shots are fired and the ending is revealed. What is Emma’s fate? What was the plan that the Bauers would not amend or stop at all cost? What happens when spies infiltrate our homes, businesses and lives with agendas to destroy our freedoms, lives and want war? Enter the apartment of the Bauers and meet the members of the Fifth Column. A novel that reminds us of the horrors of WWII, the atrocities that Hitler inflicted on so many and the camps that killed 6 million innocent Jewish people and more. The Fifth Column helps readers remember and hope: never again! Some endings surprise readers and even the characters as somethings come full circle but where will Charlie wind up? The circle of life has no beginning or end but within the circumference with its smooth surface there can be some cracks, openings and holes that signify the flaws and mistakes we make that make us stronger. Charlie makes many, he kills someone at the start of the novel but basically it was not intentional, and it left him downhearted and alone until he realizes that his circle or circumference’s center would be filled with his daughter Emma and hopefully more in the future. Will that veil of darkness be lifted from his life and from that of others? Read this historical novel and find out!
Fran Lewis just reviews