Nelson DeMille,
Up Country
(Time Warner, 2002)

Until his old boss, Colonel Karl Helmann, dangles a 30-year-old murder in his face, ex-Chief Warrant Officer Paul Brennan (The General's Daughter) enjoys a peaceful early retirement, cooking chili for 100 and engaging in similarly exciting activities. Although he suspects Karl isn't telling him the whole truth, Brenner can't resist the challenge or the call to adventure.

Armed with a questionable translation of a 30-year-old letter, our hero begins his third military tour of duty in Viet Nam. At the moment Brenner arrives at Dulles airport en route for Saigon (Ho Chi Min City), the reader embarks on an incredible journey. Following in Brenner's footsteps the reader won't miss the excitement, entertainment or the post-war revelations. Part mystery, suspense, thriller, comedy, war journal, romance and even Viet Nam travelogue, Up Country delights in every sense.

The character of Paul Brenner (played by John Travolta in the film version of The General's Daughter) hasn't lost any wit, charisma, intelligence or sarcasm in the sequel. In fact, he outdoes himself. Teamed with the sexy, sly and savvy Susan Weber, Brenner proves to be the man of the year and a force to be reckoned with.

The novel is read by Scott Brick. Although 20 cassettes may, at first, seem like an overwhelming amount of book talk, DeMille's superb characterization, engaging setting and riveting plot will lead to regret that there's not 21, 22, 23 or 24 cassettes. I'll be first in line for the upcoming film of the same name, and have my fingers crossed for another sequel.

Take a journey up country with Nelson DeMille. The world will never look the same again, but you'll be glad you did. Highly recommended -- listening to this audio book is an experience no one should miss.

[ by Lynne Remick ]
Rambles: 22 June 2002

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