Dr John Sandham was born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1962. He trained to be an engineer in the Royal Air Force (RAF), and during his 12 years in the RAF, he served in the United Kingdom; Central America during the height of the ‘Cold War’; Ascension Island; and Bahrain during the first Gulf War – ‘Operation Desert Storm’.
He has been involved in building several businesses; and also achieved the award of ‘Doctor in Professional Studies’ at Middlesex University, England, in 2014. John lives in Bedfordshire, England, with his wife, Ruth, and enjoys writing, travel, snowboarding, and walking.
Reds on the Run is a work of fiction based partly on my own experiences as an engineer in the Royal Air Force when stationed in Belize, Central America, during the early 1980s. It is not meant to be an accurate depiction of any specific events that happened during the Guatemalan civil war, but I would encourage readers to find out more because the facts are now available, and the reality is far more shocking than anything I have written within these pages. I have created a story and characters that give a fictional 'snapshot of that time'. Unless otherwise indicated, all the names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents in this book are either the product of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
The author, John Sandham, uses his personal knowledge and experiences from working in Central America during the 'Cold War' to create this fast moving action suspense novel for adults.
The story starts just before the Falklands War in April 1982, with Margaret Thatcher requesting support from Ronald Reagan to enable victory in the South Atlantic. The story soon moves on to the civil war raging in Guatemala, Central America. It was the height of the 'Cold War'. Reagan's US Adminisation was secretly working with President Ríos Montt to eradicate communism, while the USSR backed Cuban government militarily and financially supported the communist rebels, known locally as 'the reds'.
Danny Sinclaire was a tough, resilient, but ordinary Royal Air Force engineer based at Airport Camp in Belize, where he looked after ground support equipment, as part of the British protection force. He is soon plunged into a dangerous situation on the border, not of his making, which leaves him, and his team in grave danger with very few options.
Carlos Cruz, a lieutenant in the Guatemalan army, is intent on clearing all communist rebels, known to him as 'the reds', from his patch of the Guatemalan Jungle. He has a highly trained platoon of 40 soldiers under his command, whose job is to find and destroy all the rebel held villages in Northern Guatemala. Sisasi, a brave and determined Guatemalan schoolteacher finds herself unintentionally caught up in the civil war. A terrifying life or death ordeal starts, and escape is her only option. The British, Guatemalan, and rebel forces clash in no-mans-land on the border.
You can read the first few chapters here....