MURDER INVESTIGATION UP COUNTRY
The head of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Army assigns Paul Brenner to a murder investigation Up Country. The novel tells of an army investigator who revisits Vietnam where his army unit fought during the war in 1968 and 1972.
I’ve read several books by Nelson DeMille, including The Gold Coast and The General’s Daughter. I especially loved The Lion’s Game, which I read several times. Nelson DeMille usually writes novels about actual events that happened in history. The fictional part is the main characters of the story which are detectives trying to discover the truth. It is fascinating to hear the details of what happened. Although, the author does not reveal what parts are correct and what he made up in the book.
Similarly, Up Country depicts many actual events.
Nelson DeMille served in the army during the Vietnam war in 1967-68 in Quang Tri Province, where this story takes place. Before writing and in preparation for writing Up Country, he returned to Vietnam to visit the places where his army unit fought during the war. This novel came from that experience in 1997.
WHAT DOES THE TITLE MEAN?
“The Westerners use it here [Vietnam]. Up Country. Means someplace out of Saigon or any major city – usually someplace that you’d rather not be – like in the wilds.” (p. 183)
Paul Brenner ultimately wants to go Up Country to find the witness to the murder that he is investigating. The author describes this location, who lives there, and how to travel.
SYNOPSIS OF UP COUNTRY
Paul Brenner, a retired Army investigator, is called back on a case that involves a murder that happened 30 years ago in Vietnam during the war in 1968. He was also the main character in another novel by Nelson DeMille, The General’s Daughter.
The majority of this story takes place in Vietnam where Paul Brenner remembers his time in the army during the war. The main reason the Criminal Investigation Division of the Army sent him to Vietnam was to talk to the witness of the 30-year-old murder and gather some evidence. Since this conversation happens at the end of the book, there is not much investigating happening. However, there is a lot of adventure to keep the story interesting. And, of course, there are love and sex scenes in the book. Paul’s lover, Susan Weber, becomes his partner in the investigation.
MY REVIEW OF UP COUNTRY
I enjoyed this book, as I have all of the author’s other books. Although I was disappointed that there wasn’t more written about the investigation, I enjoyed Paul Brenner’s reminiscing about his events that happened to him in the war, especially since I knew that much of the information came from Nelson DeMille’s personal experiences. Furthermore, the author filled the pages with many dangerous scenes. There was never a dull moment. I recommend this book readers who like murder mysteries.