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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Running with the Enemy is a historical/military thriller set in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and is written by Lloyd Lofthouse, a Vietnam veteran. Ethan Card is a decorated Marine who has fallen in love with Tuyen, a Vietnamese woman. Their affair has been noted by Ortega, a corrupt and sadistic CIA agent who assembles photographs of the two, along with forged documents which incriminate Card as the seller of stolen arms to the Viet Cong. On his way to his court-martial as a traitor, Card hijacks the helicopter and fights his way through jungles and countries to rescue Tuyen.
Lloyd Lofthouse brings the horror and intensity of the Vietnam war to the reader in a fast-paced and thrilling story. Ethan Card and his unlikely allies are larger than life as they face overwhelming odds in a very plausible plot. I was struck by the subtlety with which Lofthouse adjusts the viewpoint of the reader, from an "us vs. them" to a deeper understanding of the people who were involved in both sides of this conflict. Abstract concepts such as heroism or horror become very real very quickly in this story that is so much more than an action and adventure thriller. I won't be forgetting Card carrying his fallen comrade Gunny single-handedly through gunfire to make sure he goes home to be buried, or the tenacious and caring Sun and Luu who help Case rescue Tuyen anytime soon. Lofthouse's historical novel, Running with the Enemy, is remarkable, intense, and extraordinary.