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
— 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)