FIFTH COLUMN – Mike Hollow

Based in war torn London during the WWII blitz. The anxiety, the fear, the sirens, the discomfort of the Anderson shelters, the crump of incoming bombs and shaking earth are realistically portrayed.

Fifth ColumnThe body of a young woman lies among the bomb rubble, but that was not what killed her. She is found by a squad of men tasked to search the fallen masonry for the dead and injured and to account for the residents who used to live there.

When a local engineering factory reports a staff member missing, she is identified as Mary Watkins. Detective Inspector Jago is tasked with piecing together the scant clues to why she died.

No spoilers; blitzed London is well portrayed and the interwoven torn loyalties, old Fascist sympathies, blackmarket sidelines, and sabotage all play their part…

Jago is a very likeable character, although a little fragile and tentative in his personal relationships, as personified by his interest in the company of a beautiful American journalist. Perhaps it is this empathy that makes one warm to him?

Mike Hollow

Mike Hollow

Despite the fact that the pace is gentle and rarely tense enough to raise a heartbeat, the tale is warmly readable, the characters real and grounded. A comfortable read, I certainly found no reason to put it down, and if offered another Jago novel – this is the second in the series – I would welcome it.

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About peterjearle

Writer of thriller novels. 4 Published: 'Purgatory Road', 'The Barros Pawns', and the Detective Dice Modise Series:'Hunter's Venom' and 'Medicinal Purposed Only', all from Southern Africa.
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