Running with the Enemy – a Review

How would you respond if you were framed for crimes you didn’t commit?  What if there was no way you could prove your innocence?

Running with the EnemyEthan Card, a Marine fighting in Vietnam, is about to become a patsy for a cruel, power-hungry rogue CIA agent who only wants to cover up his own crimes.

Tuyen, a Viet Cong resistance fighter is Ethan’s lover.  The Americans would not approve of Ethan’s romantic relationship with one of the enemy, and it only helps to make him appear guilty.  Tuyen’s brother, Giap, a cruel Viet Cong leader, wants to kill Tuyen and her American lover, and he wants them to suffer.  Ortega, the rogue CIA agent, is going to help.

Ethan is such an awesome Marine that the accusations against him are hard for many to believe.  As a result, he does have help in escaping arrest from some of those he works with.  Now running with the enemy, he is determined to see the man responsible for framing him punished.  This is a job he cannot do from inside a prison.  And he wants to protect Tuyen.  Their flight takes them from Vietnam into Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma.

The author did a great job with this character of Ortega, and I hated the awful things he did.  This sadistic man was cruel beyond belief; the depths of his cruelty astounded me.

Ethan Card was a character I loved, but without the actions of Ortega, there would not have been much of a story.  He was a good Marine who just happened to fall in love with a half-Vietnamese, half-French girl.

Just how much pain and suffering can a human being endure?  When people are tortured in inhumane ways, the author doesn’t write it stating every little detail, he plainly says what was done.  Just saying it was more than enough to create the horrible pictures in my mind and make me cringe.

At times, this is a bloody and violent book.  Since the story is taking place during the war in Vietnam, that is to be expected.  If you cannot handle the blood, the violence, the cruelty, and the language, you do not need to read this book.

If you can handle it and are fond of stories that take place in war-torn Vietnam, then you will love it.  Mr. Lofthouse did a fantastic job writing it.  I don’t normally like to read war stories, but this one grabbed hold of me.  It has left me knowing just how horrific conditions were for those who fought in Vietnam, and I applaud those who survived.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  If you would like to purchase a copy for your own reading pleasure, I have provided an Amazon link below.

Amazon Link: Running with the Enemy

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open up to imagination,

open up to imagination,

Favorite Lines:
Columns of mature, struggling rubber trees marched away from the dying house as if they were soldiers fighting a losing war.

The dark, ruby eyes of a huge rat stopped Ethan for a moment as he stared at it, and it stared at him.

Tendrils of blood hung from the wounds as if they were twisted vines of red licorice.

Kama jumped when the wind whistled through cracks in the walls and shook the shack like a dog shakes a snake.

concertina wire, wikimedia commons

concertina wire, wikimedia commons

New Words Learned:
adjutant – a staff officer who assists the commanding officer in issuing orders

cadre – a cell of trained and devoted workers

concertina wire – wire with razor-sharp edges or projections, placed in coils as a barrier along the tops of fences or walls, as at a prison

crenellated – furnished with crenelations, as a parapet or molding, in the manner of a battlement

escarpment – the long continuous steep face of a ridge or plateau formed by erosion

gook – slang for a native of Southeast Asia or the South Pacific, especially when a member of an enemy military force.

guanxi – a Chinese social concept based on the exchange of favours, in which personal relationships are considered more important than laws and written agreements

Gulf of Tonkin ResolutionIn August 1964, two U.S. destroyers that were stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin reported that they had been fired upon by North Vietnamese forces.  This resolution came about as a result of that incident.  It gave President Johnson the authority to take any measures he believed were necessary to retaliate and to promote the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia.  (

Ka-Bar – a combat knife

klick – slang for a kilometer or 1000 meters

klong – In Thailand, this is a canal.

Kuomintang – the dominant party of the Republic of China (Taiwan) since 1949

liana – any of various usually woody vines that may climb as high as the tree canopy in a tropical forest

Mekong River in Laos, wikimedia commons

Mekong River in Laos, wikimedia commons

Mekong – a river whose source is in SW China, flowing SE along most of the boundary between Thailand and Laos to the South China Sea

Montagnards – dark-skinned people of mixed ethnic origins inhabiting the highland areas of Vietnam

piaster – former monetary unit of South Vietnam; replaced by the dong in 1976

slue – to swing around

whump – thump; a dull thud

  3 comments for “Running with the Enemy – a Review

  1. May 9, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Great review. Lots of new words! ‘Running With the Enemy’ really grabbed me as well!

  2. May 9, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you for the honest review. I’m glad the story grabbed hold of you. I hope it didn’t cause flashbacks.

    • May 9, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      I loved your story! It didn’t bother me at all or give me nightmares. 🙂

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