Saturday, January 5, 2013

Up Country

Nelson DeMille is, and has been for many years, one of my favorite authors.  His books always entertain, yet you can't help learning something at the same time.  I think the first DeMille I read was The Charm School and it remains one of my favorites.  Recently I listened to (yes, I am an audio book fiend) all of the John Corey books and in The Panther, Paul Brenner had a pivotal role, which is one reason I picked Up Country as my first book of 2013. 

As a child of the 60s, I put off reading this book on Vietnam by Nelson DeMille for quite some time.  It's been in my TBR bookcase since it first came out in paperback, but I recently got a copy of the audiobook, so I figured why not start listening. 

Up Country is the story of Paul Brenner's return to Vietnam to investigate a murder that happened during the Tet Offensive in 1968, the same time that he was a PFC in the Army.  Chief Warrant Officer Paul Brenner (also the character in The General's Daughter) is a no-nonsense, tell it like it is, recently retired Criminal Investigation detective.  He retired after solving the case of the general's daughter's death and pissing off a lot of the brass.

In order to investigate the murder of an officer by a superior officer, Paul must find a Vietnamese soldier who witnessed the crime and get a statement and retrieve any mementos of the crime he might have in his possession.  Paul Brenner meets and then is accompanied by Susan Webber, an American woman who lives and works in Vietnam, and who may not be exactly who she says she is.

I liked the book very much, the complaint I have is the ending leaves several questions in my mind.  I want to know what happens next.  

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