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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Upriver is an action-packed military thriller by Martin Roy Hill. When two Navy SEALS are arrested on charges of murder of their fellow soldier, NCIS Special Agent Linus Schag is called upon to take them into custody. He arrives in Iraq, a country torn apart by war with ISIS militants, also known as Daesh, possessing more and more territory with each passing day. After an unexpected IED attack destroys their car, Schag loses his two captives, Senior Chief Raymond Sikes and Petty Officer Thomas Rankin, who take their chance at freedom and flee north through the Tigris river. Now, with Chief Warrant Officer Stan Appleton, an Iraqi interpreter, and a Navy boat crew led by a belligerent captain, Schag must traverse dangerous Daesh territory in pursuit of the suspects. Will he be successful, and at what cost?
Martin Roy Hill weaves a gripping tale of murder, war, and mayhem. Set in Iraq during ISIS at the peak of its brutal regime, Upriver follows an NCIS agent's dogged determination to pursue his dangerous suspects amid a devastating war that led to the deaths of thousands, if not millions. Hill manages to infuse a sense of palpable tension into this story that makes you feel the stakes involved, with each page turned building up suspense and intrigue until the climax. The narrative is unflinchingly raw, intense, and gritty, showcasing the brutal realities of war and all it entails. I particularly enjoyed the dynamic between Linus Schag and Chief Ramos. Fans of military fiction will love this one.