We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

Reviews of Up Country by Nelson DeMille

Up Country

by Nelson DeMille

Up Country by Nelson DeMille X
Up Country by Nelson DeMille
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2002, 720 pages

    Paperback:
    Apr 2003, 720 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Thirty years later, an American army lieutenant's death in Vietnam is still shrouded in mystery; the only evidence is a recently discovered letter written by an enemy soldier describing an act of shocking violence. Brenner's assignment: return to Vietnam and find the witness....

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille brings back Paul Brenner, the army investigator from The General's Daughter, in a sensational and poignant new novel of suspense...

Up Country

There is a name carved into the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., of an American army lieutenant whose death is shrouded in mystery. The authorities have reason to believe that he was not killed by the enemy, or by friendly fire; they suspect he was murdered.

At first, Paul Brenner, himself a Vietnam vet, isn't interested in investigating the case. After his forced retirement from the army's Criminal Investigation Division, he has adapted to the life of a civilian with a comfortable pension. Then his old boss, Karl Hellmann, summons him to the Vietnam Memorial to call in a career's worth of favors. Hellmann tells Brenner of the circumstances surrounding the officer's death, and gives him this much to go on: The incident happened over three decades ago in Vietnam; the only evidence is a recently discovered letter written by an enemy soldier describing an act of shocking violence. The name of the North Vietnamese soldier is known, but not his present whereabouts, or even if he is alive or dead.

Brenner's assignment: Return to Vietnam and find the witness. The addendum: The mission is very important to the U.S. Army. Brenner's the ideal man for the job. And it's in his best interest that he doesn't know what this case is really about.

Reluctantly, Brenner begins a strange journey that unearths his own painful memories of Vietnam and leads him down a trail as dangerous as the ones he walked a lifetime ago as a young infantryman. From sultry, sinful Saigon, where he meets beautiful American expatriate Susan Weber, to the remote, forbidding wilderness of up-country Vietnam, he will follow a trail of lies, betrayal, and murder—and uncover an explosive, long-buried secret.

Filled with intrigue and espionage, romance and seduction, action and adventure—as well as the author's patented, subversive wit—Up Country is, above all, about what happens when men fight in wars and how it changes them forever.

BOOK 1
Washington, D.C

CHAPTER ONE

Bad things come in threes The first bad thing was a voice mail from Cynthia Sunhill, my former partner in the army's Criminal Investigation Division. Cynthia is still with the CID, and she is also my significant other, though we were having some difficulties with that job description.

The message said, "Paul, I need to talk to you. Call me tonight, no matter how late. I just got called on a case, and I have to leave tomorrow morning. We need to talk."

"Okay." I looked at the mantel clock in my small den. It was just 10 P.M., or twenty-two hundred hours, as I used to say when I was in the army not so long ago.

I live in a stone farmhouse outside Falls Church, Virginia, less than a half-hour drive to CID Headquarters. The commute time is actually irrelevant because I don't work for the CID any longer. In fact, I don't work for anyone. I'm retired, or maybe fired.

In any case, it had been about six months since my separation from ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Nelson DeMille brings back Paul Brenner (first seen in The General's Daughter) in a story set in the fertile literary soil of Vietnam. Brenner, a Vietnam vet, is sent to modern day Vietnam to explore an unexplained mystery left from the Vietnam war.

Media Reviews

People
Catch this one on the page before it hits the screens. The movies will be hard pressed to do justice...

Entertainment Weekly
The case turns out to be a humdinger...offers illuminating commentary on how the country has changed...

Booklist - Mary Frances Wilkens
DeMille's portrayal of the cocky soldier returning to enemy soil is moving and realistic, peppered with Paul's recollections of the war and the people who must live with its legacy every day. Neither pro- nor anti-war, this poignant story from the wildly popular DeMille is particularly timely in light of today's international situation.

Publishers Weekly
What is curious, and relatively unfortunate, is that the long narrative focuses so much on travelogue instead of intrigue and action; it's as if DeMille, a wickedly fine thriller writer, has been possessed by the soul of James Michener. Still, the overarching story line captivates....

Author Blurb Linda Fairstein
Finely drawn characters, wickedly crisp dialogue, and brilliant twists ...Nelson DeMille [is] the master storyteller of our times.

Author Blurb Lisa Scottoline
...an absorbing investigation of a...murder...a profound exploration of...war, justice, and...the human heart.

Reader Reviews

JIM KELLEY

UP COUNTRY
Excellent book, great story. Would have been an good movie with John Travolta playing Paul Brenner. Read the book and listened to the CD.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Up Country, try these:

  • Tree of Smoke jacket

    Tree of Smoke

    by Denis Johnson

    Published 2008

    About this book

    More by this author

    This story of Skip Sands - spy-in-training, engaged in Psychological Operations against the Vietcong - and the disasters that befall him thanks to his famous uncle, a war hero known in intelligence circles simply as the Colonel.

  • The Father of All Things jacket

    The Father of All Things

    by Tom Bissell

    Published 2008

    About this book

    More by this author

    Opening with a gripping account of the chaotic and brutal last month of the war, The Father of All Things is Tom Bissell’s powerful reckoning with the Vietnam War and its impact on his father, his country, and Vietnam itself.

We have 8 read-alikes for Up Country, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
More books by Nelson DeMille
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Neighbors and Other Stories
    Neighbors and Other Stories
    by Diane Oliver
    The history of American segregation, along with changes to it in the 1960s, is sometimes taught and ...
  • Book Jacket: Wild and Distant Seas
    Wild and Distant Seas
    by Tara Karr Roberts
    Tara Karr Roberts is a newspaper columnist who also teaches English and journalism. Wild and Distant...
  • Book Jacket: The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years
    The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years
    by Shubnum Khan
    Shubnum Khan's eloquent and moving debut novel opens in 1932, when a djinn that haunts a house by ...
  • Book Jacket: Transient and Strange
    Transient and Strange
    by Nell Greenfieldboyce
    Throughout her powerful essay collection, Transient and Strange, science reporter Nell ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Mockingbird Summer
by Lynda Rutledge
A powerful and emotional coming-of-age novel set in the 1960s by the bestselling author of West with Giraffes.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Leaving
    by Roxana Robinson

    An engrossing exploration of the vows we make to one another and what we owe to others and ourselves.

  • Book Jacket

    The Adversary
    by Michael Crummey

    An enthralling novel about a small town struggling to survive, and a bitter vendetta between two rivals.

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.