Genres: Adventure, Espionage, War
Skills of the Warramunga by Greg Kater
Early in 1946, former army officer, Jamie Munro, and his half-Aboriginal friend and colleague, Jack ‘Jacko’ O’Brien, who head the Commonwealth Investigation Service in Darwin, are called on to assist in the rescue of Colonel John Cook, a senior operative of MI6, who has been kidnapped by bandits and taken into the jungles of Malaya.
Jamie and Jacko had worked in intelligence operations with Colonel Cook during the desert campaign in North Africa in the Second World War, as the Afrika Corps threatened Egypt.
With Jacko’s half-sister, Sarah, a full-blood Aborigine from Tennant Creek, they arrive in Kuala Lumpur to find that they not only have to contend with the impenetrable jungle of the Malay peninsula, but also with a murderous and subversive organization of Fascist criminals whose aim is to disrupt the creation of the Malayan Union by the British Military Authority, set to take place on 1st of April 1946, foment an uprising and take over control of the country.
All the inherent bush craft skills of the Warramunga are needed to rescue Colonel Cook as well as prevent catastrophic mayhem on the Malayan peninsula.
This is the third book in the Warramunga trilogy.
Skills of the Warramunga by Greg Kater is the third book in the Warramunga trilogy. Book one introduced us to the two main protagonists, Jamie Munroe and Jacko O’Brien. Jamie is a former Army Officer with all the skills that entails, and Jacko is half Aborigine and has many skills including excellent tracking. Book Two then introduced Jacko’s sister, Sarah, a full Aborigine with honed tracking skills, and together they embark on their next mission in this the final book of the series.
When a former friend and colleague, Colonel John Cook, is kidnapped, the trio set off for the wild jungles of Malaya to mount a rescue that seems both arduous and dangerous. Convinced that the Colonel has been taken by a Communist group, Jamie, Jacko and Sarah gather a few trusted troops and set off to do battle not only with the bandits and kidnappers but also the wild creatures that live in the jungle, such as the leeches that invade their bodies, and the plants that slash at their clothes and skin with razor sharp shards in the leaves. Sarah’s skills prevent many a disaster as her keen eyes detect the many traps laid by the bandits. What transpires, however, is that a group of Fascist criminals are at work, seeking to overthrow the ruling party, destroy the planned Malayan Union by the British Military Authority, and take control. To this end they take further hostages and Jamie, Jacko and Sarah again find themselves having to return to the jungle to free the kidnapped dignitaries. Will their combined skills be enough to defeat the desperadoes?
Skills of the Warramunga is another stunning adventure by the author, Greg Kater. By now Jamie and Jacko are well known to the reader of this thrilling trilogy, and like old friends their characters and skills are put to the test in the challenging setting of a Malayan jungle. As always, the writing is flawless, tension mounts from page to page, and the descriptions are incredibly visual. The reader can feel the heat of the jungle, can experience the sweat rolling down their backs, can imagine the leeches in their shoes, and can almost touch the overbearing and encompassing thick air as the story races from one battle to another. This final book encompasses all the amazing skills of the characters to enable them to do what is necessary to seek justice for the wronged and to bring the perpetrators to either punishment or a sticky and grizzly end.
For lovers of adventure, this story does not disappoint. The only disappointment is that it is the end of the trilogy. The author, Greg Kater, is a master of his profession, a writer with an awesome imagination, and certainly someone to watch.
Reviewed by Jane Finch for Artisan Book Reviews
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