Excerpt from Up Country by Nelson DeMille, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Up Country

by Nelson DeMille

Up Country
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2002, 720 pages
    Apr 2003, 720 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"Is that so? Well, thank you for informing me that I threw away a thirty-year career because I had a temper tantrum." "You should come to terms with that. I'll tell you something else—unless you find something equally important and challenging to do, you're going to get depressed—" "I'm depressed now. You just made me depressed. Thanks."

"Sorry, but I know you. You were not as burned out as you thought you were. The Campbell case just got to you. That's okay. It got to everyone. Even me. It was the saddest, most depressing case—" "I don't want to talk about that."

"Okay. But what you needed was a thirty-day leave, not a permanent vacation. You're still young—" "You're younger."

"You've got a lot of energy left, a lot to give, but you need to write a second act, Paul." "Thank you. I'm exploring my options." It had gotten noticeably cooler in the room and on the phone.

"Are you angry?" "No. If you were here, you'd see me smiling. I'm smiling." "Well, if I didn't love you, I wouldn't be saying these things." "I'm still smiling." "See you in a few weeks." She said, "Take care of yourself." "You, too." Silence, then, "Good night." "'Bye."

We both hung up. I stood, went to the bar, and made a drink. Scotch, splash of soda, ice.

I sat in my den, my feet on the desk, watching the snow outside. The Scotch smelled good.

So, there I was with a Danielle Steel novel on my desk, an unpleasant phone call still ringing in my ears, and an ominous message from Karl Hellmann on my computer screen.

Sometimes things that seem unconnected are actually part of a larger plan. Not your plan, to be sure, but someone else's plan. I was supposed to believe that Karl and Cynthia were not talking about me, but Mrs. Brenner didn't raise an idiot.

I should be pissed off when people underestimate my intelligence, though in truth, I affect a certain macho idiocy that encourages people to underestimate my brilliance. I've put a lot of people in jail that way.

I looked at the message again. 1600 hrs, tomorrow, the Wall. Not even "please." Colonel Karl Gustav Hellmann can be a bit arrogant. He's German-born, as the name suggests, whereas Paul Xavier Brenner is a typical Irish lad, from South Boston, charmingly irresponsible, and delightfully smart-assed. Herr Hellmann is quite the opposite. Yet, on some strange level, we got along. He was a good commander, strict but fair, and highly motivated. I just never trusted his motives.

Anyway, I sat up and banged out an e-mail to Karl: See you there and then.

I signed it, Paul Brenner, PFC, which, in this case, did not mean Private First Class, but meant, as Karl and I both knew, Private F-ing Civilian.

Copyright © 2002 by Nelson DeMille

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hag-Seed
    by Margaret Atwood
    There's a scene in The Tempest that many critics have concluded is indicative of Shakespeare&#...
  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.