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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.
Brenner's assignment: return to Vietnam and find the witness.
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.
"Finely drawn characters, wickedly crisp dialogue, and brilliant twists...Nelson DeMille [is] the master storyteller of our times." (Linda Fairstein, author of The Deadhouse)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Graham S. Stafford on 08-26-08
I served during Vietnam in U. S. Naval Security. I have very mixed feelings about the war. I'm an avid reader and listener, but this is the first book I've read about the Vietnam War. This is because of those personal mixed emotions. I'm very happy I listened to Up Country. It has affected me deeply. And, confirmed to me of the insanity of both Vietnam and the United States during that horrible time that now has become history. I highly recommend this book to anyone. Especially to anyone that lived through that time. It also makes me wonder about the books that will be written 20 or 30 years after the insanity of Iraq. I love my country, and I'm happy that I was of service to it. I would do it again. I just hope that one day we can learn from our mistakes and stop asking that our young men and women live and die through what was shown in this wonderful book.
26 of 26 people found this review helpful
By James B on 03-27-03
You Must Read Up Country
This is really two books in one. A first rate mystery in its own right, it's also a tale of a Viet Nam veteran's cathartic resolution of his experiences. The author is a highly decorated veteran of that war and I suspect the writing was cathartic for him as well. The book is truly superb.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful