Ian  A. O'Connor
Official website
The Twilight of the Day
                                           The intricate plotting...throughout this brisk work is truly impeccable.
                                                                                                                                                        -Kirkus Reviews 

The Twilight of the Day is a powerful story of human triumph in the face of impossible odds. It is a story of hope; a story of one man's resolute faith in God and country when lesser men would have succumbed. 

Navy Captain James Vincent Trader endured years of relentless torment as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. His true descent into hell began when he and nine others were sold in 1973 to a rogue country for 70 million dollars. Who was the buyer, and what was expected of these men? The answer is found in a closely guarded secret held by this extraordinary fraternity of pilots.

The Twilight of the Day
 is a work of fiction steeped in fact and is guaranteed to keep the reader on the edge of his seat until the last page. This is the suspense novel all aficionados of the genre have been waiting for. It's simply that good!

The second printing of The Twilight of the Day was released in May 2015.

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Review from the Military Times

This book review was published in the Air Force Times on November 19, 2001. It refers to the first edition printing of The Twilight of the Day by Ian A. O’Connor.

POWs heroic in nuclear thriller

By Steven A. Simon

Special to the Times

Much has been written about the ordeal that Vietnam prisoners of war endured at the hands of their captors.

Since factual accounts have been sufficiently detailed, inspirational and numerous to satisfy interest in the subject, there doesn’t appear to be any real need for Vietnam fiction.

But Ian O’Connor’s thriller, “The Twilight of the Day,” fills a void that doesn’t even exist. And fills it very nicely.

Actually, the book touches only briefly on the main characters’ Vietnam incarceration. Before long, they are smuggled off to another, even more depraved, setting.

The concept of the novel is clever, original and intriguing.  Desperate to develop the capability to launch nuclear missiles, the Libyan government purchases nine American POWs from the North Vietnamese just before the 1973 Paris Peace Acord is signed.  The prisoners are especially valuable because of their knowledge of nuclear engineering.

The sinister plan is to force the POWs to help develop the final piece of the puzzle: the initiators that will trigger the nuclear reaction.  Despite being at a monumental disadvantage, the POW’s, led by Navy Capt. James Vincent Trader, battle with the ruthless, demented Libyan who is masterminding the project.

O’Connor, who, is a retired Air Force colonel who served as an intelligence officer during the Vietnam War, employs a crisp writing style.  His straight-forward narrative and brisk pacing, devoid of the usual convoluted and only marginally relevant subplots, maintains the story’s momentum. He includes enough technical information to let us know what the engineers are doing, but not the excruciating excess some leading writers of the military thriller genre foist upon readers.

The plausibility of the tale is enhanced by O’Connor’s skillful weaving of actual early-1970s events into the story—the loss at sea of a plutonium shipment, the theft in Germany of two Longbow missiles, and a nuclear test in the South Atlantic.  None of these mysteries has been solved, making it theoretically possible that the tale could have happened. The appearance of President Nixon, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Libyan ruler Muammar Gadafi add to the sense of realism.

“The Twilight of the Day” shows there is a need for quality fiction, regardless of the subject matter. Fans of realistic military action novels, and even those who prefer their heroes to be real people, will enjoy this imaginative, well-written adventure.

Steven A. Simon is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and free-lance writer who reviews books in Lutz, Fla.

Amazon reader reviews from the first edition of "The Twilight of the Day".

exciting reading

By on April 10, 2000

I've just finished reading The Twilight of the Day, and I must say, I was impressed. Impressed that any novel would have an impact on me the way this one did. Without giving away the ending, I really had to stop and say to myself..." You know, I suspect the author's not too far off the mark here." And the poem at the end was truly moving. From a purely subjective reader's point of wiew, this story held fast from start to finish. Nothing was taken for granted by the author in the telling. It had a great plot, excellent character development, and a style that was effortless to read. And, no doubt about it, this was indeed a thriller. I would recommend this book to anyone-in fact, that's what I'm doing with this review! Bottom Line: I'd compare it favorably to anything written by Len Deighton or John LeCarre; and those two are at the head of the class when it comes to writing thrillers laced with heavy dollops of political intrigue. And that's what The Twilight of the Day is.


5 refresher course

By on April 24, 2000

This novel is a refresher course that the bad guys are still out there with sinister plans to conquer the world by whatever means possible. It's not enough that Qaddafi has this oil niche and the economic power that goes with it but he allows insane subordinates concoct fiery schemes. The notion that Vietnam POW's were ruthlessly mistreated and in the middle of this plot kept me reading on and on. Good luck with any future writing endeavors

5 Gripping!

By on April 14, 2000

I read this book in one afternoon and could not put it down! The first chapter grabs you and does not let go. Whether or not you're a military buff you'll enjoy this greatly!

5 A book you can't put down

By on August 24, 2000

The Twilight of the Day is a rivoting story that is probably closer to the truth that anyone would want to believe. Once you pick it up you cannot put it down. It is a "must read" for anyone who knows and cares about what happened in Viet Nam. I am looking forward to reading more from Ian O'Connor.

5 Food for Thought

By on April 17, 2000

This book was a very good story about what might have happened to POWs in the Viet Nam conflict. A lot of those held by the North Vietnamese were highly educated pilots and the premise for the book is right on! Excellent reading and definitely food for thought. Top drawer and fast paced reading.

5 This book is a must read

By on November 23, 2000

No matter what your interests, you will enjoy this book! I received it one afternoon and finished it before retiring that evening. Who knows, the author may be right on the mark with his scenario of events at the close of the Vietnam War. It is definitely thought provoking. Highly recommended.

5 Riveting!

By on June 18, 2000

Review by Ginnie FitzGerald: truly riveting! Husband enjoyed it so much I had to read it. True to his word, it grabbed my attention and was very fast paced. I could not put it down until I had finished it! I most highly recommend it!