Review of Fifth Column: The Blitz Detective Series

Leah Courtney
Last year I had the opportunity to read and review the first in a new series by Mike Hollow. The Blitz Detective series features an English detective and is set during World War 2.  I reviewed Direct Hit here. Now I've read for review the next book in the series- Fifth Column.

Review of Fifth Column

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From the book's description...

Detective Inspector Jago investigates, uncovering deception and betrayal

At first glance, the young woman found in the early hours of the morning where bombs have landed is just another casualty of the previous night's air raid. But when the post-mortem shows signs of strangulation, Detective Inspector Jago is called on to investigate.

The dead woman is smartly dressed but carries no identification. However, a local engineering company reports a staff member has failed to appear at work that morning and the body is quickly identified as that of Miss Mary Watkins.

DI Jago's initial interviews yield little fruit; no one can think of a reason why Mary would be murdered. But as the investigation continues DI Jago begins to uncover a trail of deception and betrayal.

When I first began to read Book1 in the series, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. The book is in third person, but it's told from the point of view of the inspector, Jago. While this makes sense because the book's author is a man, it was different than other books I've enjoyed. The book also has little character reflection and more action. And I often don't enjoy that kind of book as well.

I ended up really enjoying Direct Hit, however. And Fifth Column has been just as good. Here are a few things I particularly enjoy:

  • The historical time period- World War 2 is always one of my favorite time periods. This book, set in England during the Blitz falls right into the period I find really interesting.
  • The characters- Though the characters in the book don't spend much time in reflection, they are surprisingly well-developed. I feel as if I get to know them through their actions even though I can't hear their thoughts as often.
  • The storyline- There are many historical fiction novels. There are many action/suspense novels. But to set an action/police story right in the middle of war-strewn England is a different concept, one I've never seen done.
  • The mystery- In some suspense novels, the reader knows "whodunnit" before the people in the story. My favorite mysteries are the ones in which I don't figure out what's going on before the characters in the novel. This is one of those. I found myself guessing and changing my mind many times as I tried to solve the case along with Jago.
Fifth Column is another really good read. I give it 5 stars. You can find the book on Kregel here or Amazon here. You can also read a sample from the Kindle version below.

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Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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