Fifth Column  -     By: Mike Hollow
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Fifth Column

Lion Fiction / 2016 / Paperback

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Fifth Column #2, in the Blitz Detective series, by Mike Hollow

A young woman’s unidentifiable body is found in the rubble after a night raid bombing. D.I. Jago is called to investigate after she appeared to be killed in the bombing but instead strangulation is determined. The woman was an employee of a reputable local engineering company. They barely cared about her death, nor did her own family.  Jago uncovers betrayal, deception and romantic entanglements.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Lion Fiction
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 1782641866
ISBN-13: 9781782641865
Series: Blitz Detective

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  1. Montana
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    As bombs fall, a killer must be found...
    October 9, 2016
    TellNJasmine
    Montana
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    My first taste of British fiction came in the form of fantasy from C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein. As a teen I discovered British Mystery and Romantic Suspense with Agatha Christie and Mary Stewart. So, as a history buff and mystery fan, I became excited when I heard about The Blitz Detective series. What could be better than crime solving during one of Britain's darkest historical hours?

    I enjoyed Fifth Column, both as a mystery and as a historical. Not only did I have a great deal of fun trying to figure out who the killer was, I came pretty close but just missed it, but I also found the history aspect quite fascinating. There was just something about the almost stark realism that really grabs the attention.

    Fifth Column isn't strictly what I'd call Christian fiction, rather more of a clean read with a little language. Because of that, Mike Hollow's straightforward writing style, and the WWII angle, I think this is a book that could easily appeal to men as well as women.

    If you love slightly gritty British mysteries Mike Hollow's The Blitz Detective series just might be for you. I know that I've enjoyed both books so far in the series and I look forward hopefully to there being a third.

    (I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.)
  2. Jonesboro, Georgia
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Atmospheric, methodical, authentic, impressive
    September 25, 2016
    Carole Jarvis
    Jonesboro, Georgia
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Although not particularly fond of WWII fiction, Im crazy about British drama and police procedurals, so I decided to give Fifth Column a try and am I ever glad I did! Those four adjectives above dont even begin to do it justice. Mike Hollow is an excellent descriptive storyteller. He knows his setting, police methodology, and human nature and his narrative is easy to follow.

    Fifth Columns West Ham setting in Londons East End gives an urban grittiness to this WWII mystery, and I cant remember when Ive been pulled into a storys atmosphere this much. Sometimes life gives a false semblance of certainty, but the Blitz wiped that out. Homes were destroyed, lives torn asunder. People slept in shelters at night and struggled to maintain a normal life during the daytime. The Blitz flung ordinary people into the front line. Enemy bombs rained down on docks, factories and homes alike in chaotic destruction. Death struck randomly from street to street. No one could be sure they would be alive the next morning.

    I really like John Jago, a detective inspector in Londons Metropolitan Police, based at West Ham police station. At 18, he was conscripted to fight in the British Army during the Great War, and struggles with lingering memories. When Jago mentions having purchased his shelter bed at Selfridges, I loved being able to picture that London department store and its owner. Now hes 42 and a bachelor, but only because he hasnt yet found the right person. Theres a hint of romance with an American war correspondent, Dorothy, and I look forward to the growth of their relationship.

    Fifth Column is also strong as a police procedural. Suspects abound, but I never found it confusing to follow. The mystery is solved through meticulous, step-by-step investigation that reflects human behaviors that never change. I had never heard of the term fifth column and was interested to learn that it refers to a group of people who sympathize with their countrys enemy.

    British fiction sometimes contains a little mild language, but I didnt notice any and thought this was a clean read. The spiritual thread is subtle, mainly brought out toward the end as Jago and Dorothy talk about evil, justice and judgement. I suspect faith themes will be further developed as the series progresses.

    Id like to read the previous book, Direct Hit, and look forward to much more from Mike Hollow. Highly recommended.

    Thank you to Kregel and Lion Hudson for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
  3. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Informative historical mystery
    September 19, 2016
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This is the second novel featuring Detective Inspector Jago investigating crimes during the London blitz. It's a well written historical novel I enjoyed reading.

    Jago is called out when the body of a young woman is found on rubble from a recent bombing. The pathologist concludes she was strangled and Jago sets off to discover the murderer.

    This is a good mystery. The plot is a bit complex as there are many who do not tell the whole truth right off and the identity of one character may be more confusing than meets the eye. I really liked the way Jago methodically goes about finding out the truth. There were a number of possible suspects, right up to the end.

    The strength of this series, though, is the historical aspect. Hollow notes that an actual historical event prompted the writing of the novel. I really like how we come to know the complex attitudes of people during WW II. Some thought the Germans were causing trouble because of how they had been treated at Versailles, with all the reparations forced on them. Some distrusted the news reports from England's government and put more store in what they heard from the English speaking German radio service. After France had fallen, some were sure England was going to be invaded shortly.

    I really like this detective series. The characters are well crafted, the novel itself is very informative, and the plot held my interest. I recommend it to those who enjoy a well written historical British mystery.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  4. Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    good series
    August 1, 2016
    lcjohnson1988
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Detective Inspector Jago and Detective Constable Cradock are called to the scene of a recent bombing where the body of a young woman is found. The strange thing is that when the men charged with helping clear the area after a bombing tell Jago that when they cleared the area there was no body, but when they returned to the scene to finish up, there she was. Jago must identify the woman as there is no identification on the body, then notify the next of kin and track down a killer.

    There seems to be another mystery as well with missing parts from a company that is working on secret projects for the government. It just so happens that once the woman is identified, it is also discovered that she works for the company that is losing inventory. Jago must determine if the two mysteries are related. If they are, does that narrow the field of possible killers? If not, then he has got two mysteries to solve. He also begins to realize he misses Miss Appleton, an American reporter stationed in London to report on different aspects of the war.

    I enjoyed reading about life in 1940s London during WWII almost as much as the mystery! I was able to predict the outcome, but the journey to get there was certainly worth the time. I was pleased with the beginning of a romance for D.I. Jago. D.C. Cradock provides good support and some comic relief to the serious demeanor of Jago. Jago also takes Cradock under his wing, teaching him how to follow clues and analyze suspects reactions. I look forward to the third book in the series to see what Jago and Cradock are investigating next and at what point in the war the story takes place.
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