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Diane Lang, a professor of German from Yale, was in Paraguay to conduct research on the Mennonite settlements in the green hell called the Chaco. Walter Stanek, a hydrogeologist from Arizona, was in country for what he thought was a disaster-prevention project in Asunción and an environmental impact study for the proposed Corpus dam on the Paraná river. So how did they get caught between rebel forces and the secret police under Colonel Hector Ibarras, a man with designs on power? It all started with an encounter at the Club Bahia Negra and a late night attack on the dusty, unpaved road of a nearby shantytown—and it ended with the two Americans struggling to survive while forced to play a pivotal role in a plot to overthrow the government of General Enrico Zancon.

TROPIC OF FEAR is available from Amazon.


“Tropic of Fear is written with such a profound sense of place, such compelling authenticity, the reader starts to feel he’s really living the adventure, checking over his shoulder to see if he’s being followed. Or worse.
The best thrillers convince the reader that they could really happen; going one better, Tropic of Fear makes one believe it already has, and Terpening is simply reporting what he saw on the ground. It’s an impressive achievement in suspense fiction.”
— Jeff Mariotte

“With a title alluding to earlier books hot with suspense and sex, this thriller takes readers deep into the politics of Paraguay. . . Terpening, whose earlier works have mostly been in the thriller genre, is a writer to watch. . . . [H]e imbues his main characters with psychological depth, infuses the book with local color galore, and fashions a deft plot.”
— Barbara Conaty, Library Journal

“Vivid, descriptive, imaginative, and chilling in its presentation of the lengths human beings will go to dominate one another, Tropic of Fear is an exciting thrill ride from first page to last.”
— Small Press Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review


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.