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Terry Wright

Terry Wright
Cornelia, Georgia, USA
December 31
I was born into a large immigrant family and my generation grew up in the American South. I got kicked out of high school and served a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Air Force during the coldwar. I got out and moved on to a PhD in engineering. Following a career in engineering research and teaching, I've written and published poems and short stories. Club Tripoli is my first published novel, and my latest book is a collection of short stories, Quiet Little Men and Other Stories.


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FEBRUARY 16, 2012 2:33PM

Club Tripoli, a novel by Terry Wright

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  Cold war airman Ted Miller moonlights on guitar at Club Tripoli, a Libyan nightclub. Caught up in the club’s vice and crime, can he escape his entanglements and survive by assisting in a dangerous covert Air Force investigation of Club Tripoli? Miller arrives at Wheelus Air Base in Tripoli in 1957. He’s welcomed by former roommate Dave Walker who runs a rock and roll combo working at the downtown nightclub owned by Joe Scarlatti. Ted soon learns the real business at the club is drugs, prostitution and gambling. He also meets Scarlatti and Airman Bob Rodrigo who works there. Ted is offered a job playing guitar. He takes it, despite his misgivings about the club, for the good money. Ted complicates his life by working as a courier for Club Tripoli, exchanging briefcases. He isn’t told what he’s handling, and he doesn’t ask. As Scarlatti and Rodrigo continue to push them toward deeper involvement Ted fears the increasing risk to Dave and himself. Ted decides to quit the club hoping to survive. The word is—only dead men leave Scarlatti and the club.  


Comments on Club Tripoli 

Club Tripoli is the cautionary tale of a young man whose moral weakness couples with self-deception and carries him to the brink of destruction. Set against the backdrop of exotic Libya in the 1950s, author Terry Wright winds his plot tighter and tighter around unwitting young Airman Ted Miller. The action is tense and contemporary as Miller ignores the danger signs around him in favor of easy dollars to be made as a musician at Club Tripoli, a hotbed of illicit activity. He is seduced by the nightclub's wanton atmosphere even as he seeks to woo the enticing and respectable Penny. Miller is drawn deeper into the seamy activities of the Club--closer and closer to the edge--in an attempt to financially secure his future at college and a life with Penny. But it becomes clear he is caught up in a maelstrom of treachery far beyond his ability to handle, or even survive. When his friend is murdered he realizes he could lose everything - the girl he loves, his self-respect, his freedom. Even his life.


Ted Miller is a musician who wants to finish his enlistment with the Air Force and go to college. That seems to be a worthy motivation, but his drive toward that goal goes off track when he falls for the easy money to be made at Club Tripoli in his free time, playing in a jazz combo, then doing more and more questionable errands for club owner Joe Scarlatti. He rationalizes his way into deeper involvement with Scarlatti's organization, carefully not examining too closely what he is doing. His life is looking good--his bank account is growing and he has a pretty girlfriend--but his entanglement with Club Tripoli is threatening his career and his love life. Time to get out, but Scarlatti's severance plan has a frightening finality. Ted's life is on the line, and the resolution makes for exciting reading.
This book keeps moving. The writing is tight, the plot well-paced. The musical scenes resonate with authority--Terry Wright is either a musician or has done excellent research. The action scenes are pulse-pounding. The descriptions of late nineteen-fifties Tripoli and the Air Base are atmospheric and feel authentic. I highly recommend this well-written novel.


Here’s a book where the story line moves forward but still keeps you guessing. Club Tripoli does just that. The characters and the story are both engaging. It is well written with action, danger, intense suspense and just a touch of romance. I was hooked from the very start and found it difficult to put down after I began reading it. I recommend this book very highly. I am looking forward to Terry Wright's next book.

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