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If you’re a fan of Nelson DeMille’s thrillers, you won’t want to miss the audiobook version of “Up Country.” This novel takes readers and listeners on a journey through the lush Vietnamese countryside to uncover the truth about a 30-year-old war crime. As with all of DeMille’s works, “Up Country” is full of action, suspense, and intrigue, with plenty of unexpected twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Key Takeaways

  • “Up Country” is a gripping thriller filled with action and suspense.
  • The audiobook version offers a unique and immersive experience for listeners.
  • The novel’s vivid setting and complex characters add to its appeal.
  • Nelson DeMille’s writing style is engaging and descriptive.
  • “Up Country” has received critical acclaim and is a must-read for fans of the genre.

About the Author

Nelson DeMille is a renowned American author, born in Queens, New York, in 1943. After graduating from a prestigious military academy, he served in Vietnam, which inspired many of his literary works, including “Up Country.” DeMille has published many bestsellers in various genres, including crime fiction, thrillers, and war fiction, with over 50 million copies sold worldwide, making him one of the most successful authors of his generation. DeMille’s works have been praised for their realistic characters, vivid settings, and impeccable attention to detail, all of which shine through in “Up Country.”

DeMille’s notable works include “The Charm School,” “Spencerville,” “The General’s Daughter,” “Wildfire,” and “The Lion’s Game,” among others, many of which have been adapted into film or TV. He has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, such as the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Thriller Writers. DeMille continues to write and publish new material to the delight of his legion of fans, cementing his status as a modern literary legend.


“Up Country” is a gripping audiobook by Nelson DeMille that takes listeners on a thrilling journey through the rugged terrain of Vietnam. The story follows retired US Army investigator Paul Brenner as he travels back to Vietnam to solve a murder case from thirty years ago. Brenner is joined by a young enlisted soldier, Susan Weber, who has her reasons for also being interested in the case. Together, they dive into the brutal violence and political chaos of the war-torn country, uncovering secrets that have long been buried under decades of silence.

DeMille skillfully weaves together a complex plot that delves into issues of power, corruption, and heartbreak. Against the backdrop of the war, he explores deeper themes such as the psychological scars left by war, the bond between soldiers, and the indomitable spirit of the human soul. The compelling characters, vivid descriptions, and intense action make “Up Country” a must-read for anyone who loves a good thriller.


One of the most significant aspects of the audiobook version of “Up Country” is the exceptional narration by Scott Brick. Brick’s performance brings the characters to life and creates an immersive experience for listeners. He does an outstanding job of conveying emotions and pacing the story, keeping the listener engaged throughout the audiobook.

With his dynamic voice, Brick captures the essence of the characters, giving each one a unique voice and personality. His delivery is smooth and effortless, making it easy to follow the dialogue and understand the plot. Brick’s narration style matches the tone and pace of the story, enhancing the audiobook experience for listeners. He is truly a masterful narrator and adds tremendous value to the audiobook version of “Up Country.”

audiobook narration


In “Up Country,” Nelson DeMille crafts a cast of complex and diverse characters that bring the story to life. At the forefront is Paul Brenner, a seasoned Army investigator tasked with returning to Vietnam to solve a decades-old murder case. Brenner’s experiences throughout the book are shaped by his military background, personal relationships, and internal struggles.

Another prominent character is Susan Weber, an American expat living in Vietnam who becomes involved in Brenner’s investigation. Weber’s motivations and loyalties are often unclear, adding a layer of tension and intrigue to the plot.

The Vietnamese characters in “Up Country” are also well-developed, providing a nuanced portrayal of the country and its people. General Thinh, the main suspect in the murder case, is a particularly fascinating character, with a complex history and a multi-faceted personality.

DeMille’s skillful characterization creates a realistic and engaging world that immerses the reader in the story. Readers will find themselves invested in the characters’ fates and relationships, making “Up Country” a truly captivating read.


In “Up Country,” Nelson DeMille transports the reader to the exotic and intriguing country of Vietnam. The setting is a prominent element throughout the novel, adding to the sense of adventure, drama, and danger. From the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City to the lush, tropical jungles, DeMille skillfully captures the essence of Vietnam, giving the reader an immersive experience that feels authentic and vivid.

The detailed descriptions of the setting in “Up Country” create a strong visual image in the reader’s mind. It’s as if the reader is alongside protagonist Paul Brenner as he ventures through the unfamiliar territory, encountering both the harsh realities of the war and the beauty of the country itself. The setting also plays a vital role in the story’s themes, highlighting the cultural and political tensions between the Vietnamese people and American soldiers.


In “Up Country” by Nelson DeMille, the plot is a thrilling and complex journey through history and political intrigue. The story follows Paul Brenner, an experienced army investigator, as he travels to Vietnam to solve the murder of a former soldier from the Vietnam War. Brenner’s investigation takes him through the rugged jungles of Vietnam, where he uncovers shocking secrets and confronts dangerous obstacles.

DeMille’s plot is intricately constructed, with a host of twists, turns, and surprises that keep the reader engaged and guessing until the very end. The pacing of the story is well-executed, with moments of gripping action interspersed with quieter, more introspective scenes that build tension and suspense.

Overall, “Up Country” is a complex and satisfying thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end.

Plot Structure

Act Description Major Events
Act 1 Introduction Brenner is tasked with solving the murder of a former soldier in Vietnam
Act 2 Rising Action Brenner travels to Vietnam and begins his investigation; he encounters a variety of obstacles and danger
Act 3 Turning Point/Climax Brenner makes a shocking discovery that changes everything he thought he knew about the case
Act 4 Falling Action Brenner confronts the killer and brings them to justice; he also comes to terms with his own past
Act 5 Conclusion Brenner returns home and reflects on his experiences in Vietnam


“Up Country” by Nelson DeMille is a gripping and thought-provoking narrative that touches upon various themes, challenging readers/listeners to reflect on their own values and beliefs. One of the most prominent themes explored throughout the book is the struggle for identity, as the main character, Paul Brenner, grapples with his sense of self and purpose. Another compelling theme in “Up Country” is the brutal legacy of war and the impact it has on individuals and society as a whole.

The novel also tackles issues of power and corruption, as well as the consequences of both action and inaction. DeMille highlights the importance of justice and integrity, depicting how these values can drive meaningful change even in the face of great adversity.

Ultimately, “Up Country” is a multifaceted work that explores complex themes with great nuance and depth, challenging readers/listeners to engage with the narrative at a deeper level. It is a testament to DeMille’s skill and insight that these themes continue to resonate with audiences today.

Writing Style

Nelson DeMille’s writing style in “Up Country” is characterized by his masterful use of language, evocative descriptions, and realistic dialogue.

DeMille’s prose is rich in detail and often humorous, with a careful balance of action, suspense, and introspection. His vivid descriptions of the Vietnam War era and the exotic landscapes of Laos create a strong sense of place and atmosphere.

DeMille’s extensive research and attention to detail are evident throughout the book, from the weapons and equipment used by American soldiers to the customs and traditions of the Laotian people.

The author’s use of dialogue is also noteworthy, with characters expressing themselves in a natural and authentic manner. The conversations between protagonist Paul Brenner and his fellow soldiers and tour guide serve to advance the plot as well as imparting important information about the characters themselves.

Overall, Nelson DeMille’s writing style in “Up Country” is engaging, immersive, and highly skilled, reflecting his status as one of the top thriller writers of our time.


Since its release, “Up Country” has received positive reviews from both critics and readers alike. Many praised Nelson DeMille’s masterful storytelling and meticulous attention to detail, which brings the setting and characters to life.

The novel was a #1 New York Times Bestseller and won the W H Smith Thumping Good Read Award in 2003.

Publication Review
The New York Times Book Review “An epic, original novel as big and spacious as its Montana setting…A soaring and masterfully executed tale of love and revenge.”
Publishers Weekly “DeMille expertly locates the pulse of the United States in this vibrant epic that runs on full throttle even when it pulls over to contemplate the views along the highways.”
BookPage “Nelson DeMille’s latest novel is a perfect blend of suspense, intrigue, and action…DeMille delivers page-turning drama with vivid descriptions and sharp characterization.”

Overall, “Up Country” has been widely praised for its gripping plot, memorable characters, and evocative setting, cementing its place in the pantheon of Nelson DeMille’s greatest works.

Comparison to Other Works by the Author

Nelson DeMille has an impressive collection of literary works that showcase his talent for storytelling and intricate plotting. The Gold Coast, one of his most popular novels, shares many thematic elements with Up Country. Both books explore the complex nature of human relationships, delve into themes of loyalty and betrayal, and feature charismatic and flawed characters that leave a lasting impression on readers.

Another notable work by DeMille that bears some resemblance to Up Country is The Lion’s Game. Both books are intense, suspenseful thrillers that keep readers on the edge of their seats. The protagonist in The Lion’s Game is similarly forced to confront his past while racing against time to stop a terrorist plot.

However, Up Country stands apart from the rest of DeMille’s bibliography in terms of its historical and cultural significance. The novel sheds light on the Vietnam War and its impact on both American and Vietnamese societies. DeMille’s vivid descriptions of the Vietnamese landscape and culture offer a unique and eye-opening perspective on a pivotal moment in world history.

Overall, while DeMille’s other works share certain qualities with Up Country, each book offers a distinct reading experience that showcases the author’s versatility and skill.


Overall, “Up Country” by Nelson DeMille is a thrilling and engrossing audiobook experience that is sure to captivate listeners. The combination of DeMille’s masterful storytelling, vivid setting, and compelling characters makes for an unforgettable journey that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

The narration by Scott Brick is also noteworthy, delivering the story with precision and skill that truly enhances the listening experience.

While the plot may be complex, it is ultimately rewarding, and the themes of redemption, justice, and exploration of the human psyche will linger with listeners long after the audiobook has ended.

In conclusion, “Up Country” is a must-listen audiobook for fans of thrilling mysteries, engaging characters, and expertly crafted storytelling. We highly recommend it as a top-notch addition to any audiobook collection.

Thank you for reading our audiobook review of “Up Country” by Nelson DeMille.

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