Nine Days in October


Suspense author and professor of Italian Terpening (League of Shadows; Tropic of Fear) gets his latest book off to a slam-bang start in Rome with a botched heist by terrorists. During the robbery, a visiting American professor is wounded and his daughter kidnapped, possibly for ransom. The time is 1988, and competing government security organizations are preparing to welcome both the Soviet premier and the U.S. president. Terpening's complex plot revolves around the wounded professor's attempts to find his child while he is unknowingly trapped in an assassination scheme involving rogue CIA agents, venal U.S. executives, Soviet oligarchs, and corrupt Italian security officials. The reader roots for a weary Italian security officer to do his job better than the villains do theirs. The author's research is evidently extensive, the writing competent, the suspense gripping, and the characterization of beastly adversaries and noble protagonists effective. The sense of place is bolstered with such an abundance of native vocabulary and street and building names that Italophiles will feel right at home. Recommended for all public libraries.
     — Jonathan Pearce, California State University, Stanislaus-Stockton, in Library Journal, vol. 132, no. 12 (July 2007), 85-86.

. . . This is not Terpening's first fictional foray into the murk of international crime, but it's his most successful thus far. In previous works Tropic of Fear and League of Shadows, the UA professor of Italian proved himself an able creator of setting and conflict, and a conscientious researcher. In this latest novel, he demonstrates an increased ability with the craft itself—with detailed sensory mood, a handle on his multiple characters and well-paced and motivated action.
. . . Terpening narrates in a clean style that's not self-conscious, using a convincing store of detail. He's painted his primary male characters with nuance and sympathy . . . .
. . . a well-wrought high-action tale
     — Christine Wald-Hopkins, "High-Action Tale," Tucson Weekly (August 23, 2007), 41. For the complete review, visit the following URL:

In the afterword to "Nine Days in October" (Stuyvesant & Hoagland, $25.95), Ron Terpening notes that in the decade of the '70s in Italy, almost three-quarters of the ongoing violence could be linked to ultraright groups. The left, however, usually got the blame. Terpening's fourth successful thriller opens with the robbery of 6 million American dollars from a Roman post office by a dysfunctional, seedy little leftist band. As its members escape from the scene with a 16-year-old American for a hostage, they have no idea what crosscurrents of sophisticated evil are about to overwhelm them.
     — J. C. Martin, Special to the Arizona Daily Star (09/06/2007)

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