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Richard Donovan, a professor of art history from Arizona, has come to Italy on sabbatical, bringing his two girls with him–Pam, eleven years old, and Claudia, just turned sixteen. While shopping in Rome, the family falls victim to a botched heist and Claudia is taken hostage. Working with Renzo Feroni, Italy’s top cop, and Sandra Patrizi, a journalist, Donovan learns that the heist is part of a much vaster conspiracy. At stake is the fate of the world’s major powers and–what matters most to Donovan–his daughter’s life.

NINE DAYS IN OCTOBER is available from Amazon.


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, Library Journal

. . . 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, Tucson Weekly


Ron Terpening is the author of four thrillers—Storm Track, League of Shadows, Tropic of Fear, and Nine Days in October. He and his wife, Vicki, live in the foothills overlooking Tucson, Arizona.