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Up Country by Nelson DeMille
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Up Country (edition 2003)

by Nelson DeMille

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1,439165,222 (3.85)27
Member:DetailMuse
Title:Up Country
Authors:Nelson DeMille
Info:Warner Vision (2003), Mass Market Paperback, 880 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Vietnam, Vietnam War, Tome, @D

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Up Country by Nelson DeMille

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One of my favorite characters, Paul Brenner, is back from one of my favorite authors. Having pissed off the brass in his last case, see [b:The General's Daughter|98427|The General's Daughter|Nelson DeMille|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171413224s/98427.jpg|1832579], Paul has been forcibly retired having pissed off a lot of brass His former boss, Colonel Helden, calls him up for a meeting at the Wall where he presents a most interesting proposal. They have a letter from a witness who says he say an army captain shot an army lieutenant in cold blood during the Tet offensive in Vietnam. The army wants the killer identified and punished. So Brenner, in return for a bigger pension and reinstatement, must solve a case that has no body, no apparent motive, no accused, no witnesses except for the letter, a witness who may have died years before, a witness who happens to have been NVA, a killer who may even be dead; a murder that may not even be a murder and which occurred during the midst of a heated battle over thirties years before. Not to mention that the dead man’s name is inscribed on the Wall and his relatives and friends all assume he was killed in battle.
Things are never what they seem, and Brenner learns from his FBI briefing just as he is about to embark on the trip to Vietnam to find the NVA witness, assuming he is still alive, that there are many things the army CID and FBI would rather he not know, but he suspects they want him to locate the man so they can kill him. Just his cup of tea.
Once in Vietnam, Paul meets Susan. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, etc., except that Paul suspects that Susan, who ostensibly works for the Bank of America on trade issues, might also have a connection to the CIA. She and he travel together, her knowledge of Vietnam proving to be invaluable and Paul begins to put some of the pieces together.
Many of the Demille books I have read exist on several levels. One suspects that this book is a much a personal meditation on the war that DeMille served in as an infantry lieutenant. Some of the stories that Paul recounts to Susan are just too real. I think it’s one of the best books I’ve read about our nation’s coming to terms with our Vietnam experience ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Traveling through Vietnam to relive war memories, and find the witness to a murder. ( )
  scubareader | Sep 8, 2013 |
here's the deal with demille: he's a very mediocre writer but he's more compelling when he writes about the vietnam war, as he does in this book (and others). the story here isn't all that interesting or intriguing, and it certainly could be told in fewer than 860 pages. but the story did hold some worthwhile points about war and about the long lasting effects it has, for the countries involved and also the individuals.

my real problem with demille is that he's a sexist and has no idea that he is. it seems to me that he'd probably be offended by my writing that, because he'd never identify that way, and because he doesn't think he's sexist, he thinks that that gives him the allowance to write sexist things for the sake of humor. (newsflash - racist and sexist things aren't funny, mr. demille.) it's so insidious because his sexism is most likely being read by millions of men (his books are often on the bestseller lists) who also don't think he's sexist. and his books are full of sexist, and sometimes racist, comments made by self-identified chivalrous men who somehow manage to consistently charm younger, attractive women.

two examples (notice the pristine writing):

at the end of a massage given at the hotel he was staying in:
"Finally she turned me over on my back and somehow I'd lost my towel. She was kneeling between my legs, and she pointed to a place she hadn't massaged yet. I had a feeling the shiatsu part of the massage was over.
She said, 'Ten dollar - okay?'
'Uhhh...'
She smiled and nodded encouragingly. 'Yes?'
Give this hotel another star."

(now, his character is a moral, non-sexist guy so he didn't take the lady up on this, but he still finds it acceptable to make that comment.)

and the other:

"Colonel Mang regarded Susan a moment, wondering, I'm sure, why a woman was answering for a man. This country was so sexist, I might like it here."

i'd love to sit down with this guy and explain a few things. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Apr 2, 2013 |
“Up Country” by Nelson DeMille is a new kind of adventure, espionage, suspense book for DeMille. Returning again to Vietnam and the places he was stationed during the Vietnam War, Paul Brenner has been persuaded to investigate and resolve the murder of a soldier during wartime. Starting with a long lost letter from a family, following the trail to find the personal effects of the soldier, and the travels across the Vietnam countryside fill the pages of this novel. The book is politically charged with whispers of top level of government being involved in a potential cover up. The characters, especially the Vietnam military leaders (Colonel Mang) and henchmen and country characters that Susan and Paul interact with on their travels were well developed though not always likable. The book gave a good view of the country and it’s different characteristics from the city to the county and up into the hills with seldom visited small villages and huts. This was a good book that I really enjoyed. ( )
  WeeziesBooks | Feb 15, 2012 |
Powerful novel of Viet Nam vet returning and seeking resolution of legal issues.
  84hornetWD | Mar 1, 2011 |
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Trust exists; only falsehood has to be invented. -George Braqu
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For those who answered the call
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Bad things come in threes.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446611913, Mass Market Paperback)

In Up Country, Nelson DeMille cannily revives the army career of Chief Warrant Officer Paul Brenner, the cynical, hardworking Criminal Investigation Division man who was forcibly retired after solving the high-profile killing in The General's Daughter. Brenner's called back to investigate the murder of a young army lieutenant by his captain. The catch is, the crime took place during the heat of the Tet Offensive, and the only living witness was a North Vietnamese soldier who described the incident in a 30-year-old letter that has only recently come to light. Soon Brenner, a Vietnam vet, is on an ostensible nostalgia tour of his old stomping grounds. The trip immediately turns dangerous as he heads "up country" to search for the letter writer, accompanied by a gorgeous American businesswoman, who's hiding more than even the smartest CID officer could imagine.

DeMille, who saw his own tour of duty in Vietnam (and even found a letter on a dead Vietnamese soldier), intersperses historical facts and chilling political possibilities with enough local color to provide some serious flashbacks for his fellow veterans. To non-vets the book may seem very long, but the payoff at the end is worth a couple hundred extra pages. --Barrie Trinkle

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:29 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Retired Army investigator Paul Brenner is called back into service to investigate the death of a soldier thirty years earlier in Vietnam--a case that stirs up many unpleasant memories.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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