"Terpening's forte is action
and there's plenty here. League of Shadows is a crackling
— Steve Berry,
national bestselling author of The Amber Room, The Romanov Prophecy, and The
of Shadows is a smart, suspenseful novel in which
the last secrets of an evil past must be revealed in
order to save new victims in the present."
Perry, national bestselling author of Pursuit and
other great thrillers.
adventure novel that entertains and informs, with an intriguing
cast of characters, an engaging plot, and well-developed
Mertz, author of Nightwind and Fade
"With League of Shadows Ron
Terpening has crafted an energetic, meticulously researched
excursion into the world of classic wartime espionage. A great
Steinhauer, author of The Bridge of Sighs, The
Confession, and 36 Yalta Boulevard.
"A masterful espionage thriller. Terpening weaves a tale
of crackling suspense that will keep even the most demanding
of readers rabidly turning the pages. Fans of Jack Higgins
will be clearing space on their bookshelves for the work of
this hot new author."
Thor, national bestselling author of State of the Union,
Path of the Assassin, The Lions of Lucerne, and Blowback (July
"Ron’s first novel,
Storm Track, was a treat to read for its page-to-page, chapter
after chapter, explosive global chase scenes. Now, in his new
historical spy thriller, League of Shadows, he’s
more than up to his old tricks; he’s downright outdone
himself, mixing time lines with ease and chases that make you
in a theater.
I am a Terpening fan. His exotic settings
alone are worth the read, sending me to places and times
that are as alive with drama and humanity today as they were
then. I am in the chase through an idyllic Italian countryside
or sipping a cappuccino in an urban café of pre-World
War II, then, moments later, sweating out the balm of a desert
flood in the aromatic monsoon along the Arizona-Sonora border—all
the while in some nerve-racking situation that makes me forget
actually reading a book.
Terpening is a master of plot that
cannot be easily anticipated yet flows smoothly, who brilliantly
makes memorable his gamut of characters, the bad guys really
bad but with edges of kindness, a main character with failings
who’s not just the good
guy but sympathetic—and all of them created with gusto.
His words often resonate poetic; his description and attention
to detail are astute as a journalist’s.
If you’re a fan of World
War II military history or an Edward Abbey-type southwest desert
buff or if you just want to enjoy a terrific page-turner, League
of Shadows is a must read. But read it when you don’t
have to go to work the next day."
Argo, author of The Year of the Monkey, a novel of
"League of Shadows is a novel
of suspense and intrigue. In Rome, 1943, three spies strived
to infiltrate Italy's Fascist hierarchy and their secret police.
Now, decades after that long-ago mission went horribly wrong,
an unknown enemy is hunting the former secret agents down.
Their one hope for survival is an ex-cop obsessed with his
mission. An addictive read, weaving together human drive, determination,
and betrayal into a gripping whole."
Midwest Book Review, Small Press Bookwatch, The Fiction Shelf
policeman Nick Ferron is drawn into an international adventure
after his grandfather's disappearance in the Colorado mountains.
Thomas Gage was an OSS agent during World War II who attempted
to infiltrate the OVRA, the Italian secret police under Mussolini's
regime. In an effort to understand what happened to his grandfather,
Ferron tries to track down the other people involved in the
wartime mission. Using a complex structure that moves back
and forth in time, Terpening (Storm
Track) does an excellent job of keeping the concurrent
stories clear, and his historical descriptions are well researched.
Fans of Jack Higgins's thrillers will enjoy. For most public
libraries. [Terpening, a language professor at the University
of Arizona, is also a LJ reviewer.—Ed.]
W. Tscherne, Cleveland P.L., in Library
Journal, 129, no. 20 (December 2004), 103-104.
"How to thrill a thriller
author" by Brad Thor, Special to The
Daily Yomiuri (Japan).
". . . In 2004 . . . I discovered
three fabulous authors whose books swept me away.
The first is Jay MacLarty. . . .
The second . . . is Didier Van Cauwelaert . .
Finally, there is League
of Shadows by Ron Terpening. This fabulously written story revolves around
Thomas Gage, a young operative in the CIA's precursor, the OSS. Gage has been
sent to crack the files of Mussolini's secret police. The assignment goes horribly
wrong, but the full impact is not felt until 50 years later, when Gage goes missing
in the mountains of Colorado. His only hope of rescue is his grandson, a wayward
ex-cop who must suspend everything he knows about himself and his family as he
tries to locate his grandfather and right a wrong whose effects have been rippling
throughout the intelligence community for decades."
is the USA Today best-selling novelist of The
Lions of Lucerne, Path of the Assassin,
and State of the Union. You can learn
more about his novels by visiting his web site at www.BradThor.com." © 2004
The Yomiuri Shimbun
"Thomas Gage was an OSS spy in Rome in 1943.
Betrayed by an Allied traitor he, Beppe Aprico, and Theunis
Kloos escaped, but many Italian partisans did not. Among those
caught and tortured were Gage’s eighteen year old contact
and lover. Gage has never stopped seeking the traitor’s
identity. Now, fifty years later, the traitor must erase his
past. He pays assassins to eliminate the former agents who
would reveal his treachery. When Gage disappears, believed
dead, his grandson, Nick Ferron, sees the traitor’s hand
at work and takes on the hunt. With Aprico now just shot to
death, Nick follows the trail of the only remaining agent to
the jungles of Suriname.
You can race through this suspense thriller riding the
whirlwind of drug busts, jungle guerrilla attacks, gun fights, assassinations,
and love affairs right into the breathtaking climax. Or, if you are disciplined
enough, you can turn each page slowly and savor the extraordinary visual and
historical detail Ron Terpening has painted into his complex story. Either way,
you are in for a treat. This is a book to add to every collection of historical
Cormier, in The Historical Novels Review, no. 31 (February
Click to read: Issues
Political, Personal. A UA Italian professor spins a fine
thriller out of research material for a class. Review article by Christine Wald-Hopkins.
Tucson Weekly. March 17, 2005, p. 46.
"If you're looking for a good
spy thriller, League of Shadows by University of Arizona
Italian professor Ron Terpening is a crackerjack choice. Loaded
with plot twists, it jumps around to places such as Dutch Guiana,
Italy, Washinton, D.C., and the Sonoran Desert from the 1940s
to the present. The protagonists, grandfather (the old Office
of Strategic Services) and grandson (Drug Enforcement Administration)
are a likable duo. They face Benito Mussolini's secret police
and venal politicians with equal aplomb."
— J. C. Martin, Special
to the Arizona
Daily Star, May 1, 2005.
novel is an exhausting read. Not because it’s
a labor to get through, but due to the fact that it is so
fast-paced it will leave you breathless. Utilizing
one storyline that takes place during World War II and one
set in our era (complete with a character who travels around
the globe as often as people go to the store), this novel
will make you take in a Stallone action film just to unwind.
intricate plot involves spies, traitors, and a grandson
attempting to find out who killed his grandfather and why.
With raids on heavily armed jungle compounds and the amount of
bullets expended, the more astute reader will expect Mack
Bolan to show up at any moment.
Ron Terpening knows how to write action,
and unlike a lot of adventure writers, his characters are three-dimensional
and believable. His only fault — if you can call
it that — is that he doesn’t give readers much of
a chance to relax. It’s almost as if he’s
challenging us to keep up with his protagonist, and that is
a task any suspense lover will be well-advised to undertake."
Brunell, Fearless Reviews, June 2005, p. 4.
until August 2005 at
"I’m a sucker for
international thrillers, especially those set in WWII. The trouble
is I sometimes find the characters flat and the events clichéd,
so they can be nothing more than mind candy. Happily, Ron Terpening’s
LEAGUE OF SHADOWS does not fall into that category. It’s
set in both World War II Rome and the present day, when the
wrongs of the past cast a shadow over the present. [.
Ron Terpening has crafted a masterful
international thriller in LEAGUE OF SHADOWS. The shifts in
time meld together seamlessly. The characters are rich and
textured and believably human, whether they’re the good
guys, the bad, or something in between. He captures time and
place vividly . . . . An Italian professor at the University
of Arizona, Terpening says his research for LEAGUE OF SHADOWS
took about fifteen months, and that shows in the historical
texture he captures in this compelling page-turner. An exceptional
Neri, The Well Red Coyote - Books on the Rocks
A Real Bookstore for Real Book Lovers,
Sedona, Arizona 86336
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