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Read or Download Up Country (Paul Brenner Series #

Read online or Download Up Country (Paul Brenner Series #2) (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by Nelson DeMille


Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446177931
Publisher:
Paul Brenner Series, #2
Edition description:
Revised
Pages:
736
Sales rank:
603,165
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.25(d)

Overview

"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 ot 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.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com review

The Barnes & Noble Review
Nelson DeMille is a consummate storyteller whose wit, unstoppable narrative momentum, and edgy, sardonic authorial voice have won him legions of fans over his extensive career.

One of DeMille's most popular characters -- Paul Brenner, the brilliant, abrasive Army investigator first seen in The General's Daughter -- makes a welcome and long overdue second appearance in Up Country, an ambitious, enormously compelling novel of love, war, murder, and memory.

The story begins, appropriately, at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, where Brenner -- newly retired and desperately bored -- holds a clandestine meeting with his former commanding officer, Colonel Karl Hellman. Hellman has a mission for Brenner: He wants him to travel, disguised as a tourist, to Vietnam, where Brenner served as an infantryman nearly 30 years before. The mission, which Brenner reluctantly accepts, involves tracking down a former North Vietnamese soldier named Tran Van Vinh. According to a recently discovered letter, Vinh may have witnessed the murder of an American officer during the Tet Offensive of 1968. Aware that there is more to the story than Hellman is telling him, Brenner sets out for his third and final tour of duty in Vietnam. Once there, Brenner -- accompanied by Susan Weber, a guide and translator with more than her share of secrets and surprises -- begins a harrowing two-week journey from Saigon to Hanoi, making numerous stops -- some idyllic, some dangerous, all of them emotionally charged -- along the way. In the end, Brenner locates his witness and learns more than he wants to know about the undisclosed purpose of his mission. But dramatic as they are, the answers he finds are ultimately less important than the scenes he revisits -- and the nightmares he confronts -- during the course of his journey.

Up Country uses the conventions of the thriller as a forum for a beautifully detailed, powerfully reconstructed act of remembrance. As Brenner moves by a circuitous route to the former enemy stronghold of Hanoi, he comes face-to-face with the most violent, surreal moments of his own past. In places like Hue, Quang Tri City, and the A Shau Valley -- scene of a primal, life-or-death encounter he has never revealed to anyone -- Brenner faces and absorbs some traumatic personal memories and achieves a gradual catharsis that is moving, unsentimental, and entirely credible.

In Up Country, DeMille's considerable talents are on full display once again. But this time out, he has raised the stakes considerably, giving us something darker, richer, and more emotionally complex than anything he has written before. Up Country is at once a novel of character, a superb evocation of an exotic, haunted place, and a first-rate story of mystery and suspense. It is also an evenhanded meditation on the cost of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and on the lingering aftereffects of that protracted, deeply divisive war. (Bill Sheehan)

Bill Sheehan reviews horror, suspense, and science fiction for Cemetery Dance, The New York Review of Science Fiction, and other publications. His book-length critical study of the fiction of Peter Straub, At the Foot of the Story Tree, won the International Horror Guild's award for best nonfiction book of 2000.

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