The Warramunga's Aftermath of War
By Greg Kater
By Greg Kater
The Warramunga’s Aftermath of War encapsulates the investigation into the post-war activities of a major criminal organisation with tentacles to the USA, Australia and South East Asia. When a fishing boat is discovered in distress in rough seas northwest of Darwin in late 1945, former army officer, Jamie Munro, and educated half-caste Warramunga aborigine, Jack “Jacko” O’Brien, who head the CIS in Darwin, are called on to investigate child smuggling operations financed by a shadowy ring of wealthy paedophiles.
This book is the second book of a trilogy. This follows The Warramunga’s War detailing the meeting of Jamie and Jacko on the battlefield during the Second World War and their activities working together with MI6 in intelligence during the remainder of the war.
“As the sea spray lashed his face, Jamie reflected that his first Christmas in Darwin had become much more eventful than he had bargained for…”
They were in the middle of Christmas lunch when the distress call from a small boat off the north coast of Darwin was intercepted. Jamie Munro and Jack “Jacko” O’Brien from the Commonwealth Investigation Service (CIS) volunteered their services to help with the rescue. However, when they reached the boat, they saw a body of a young child floating in the water. One thing was for sure, this was no ordinary fishing boat, and these so-called fishermen were not whom they said they were. The discovery of a boy hiding under lifebelts and boat fenders in the bow of the boat only strengthen their suspicions.
Only one child survived the crossing, and it is from him that the two CIS officers had their fears confirmed. The boat had been smuggling children with the intention of selling them to wealthy paedophiles.
In their desperate bid to bring down the despicable men who were exploiting these children, Jamie and Jacko must travel to South East Asia, for that is where the children came from. However, they are faced with impossible odds, as those who have invested heavily in this smuggling operation will do absolutely anything to make sure it continues
Unbeknownst to Jamie and Jacko, the perpetrators of this disgusting crime are a great deal closer to home than either of them realised.
From the desperate plight of a young boy hiding on a boat to the vastness of the Australian outback, The Warramunga’s Aftermath of War by Greg Kater is the shocking yet gripping account of two CIS officers as they attempt to shut down a terrible paedophile ring.
Initially, I was a little cautious about the topic of this book — I would usually avoid anything that has a plot about child exploitation. However, I was confident, after reading the first book in this series, that Kater would approach this subject with great sensitivity and care, which I am pleased to say he did. The story concentrates on Jamie and Jacko’s attempts to stop child smuggling rather than the suffering of the children themselves.
Kater wisely chose to add many lighter moments to this story, which worked very well and helped to give the book balance. However, saying that, at times the tension is almost unbearable, especially as Jamie and Jacko close in on their intended targets. It is undoubtedly a page-turning read and one I did not want to put down.
I must applaud Kater for his meticulous research. His depiction of the Philippines post-war was terrific. Kater has captured the essences of this era, and like a master bard, he has presented his readers with a believable backdrop in which to place his two wonderfully dynamic and incredibly appealing protagonists. When the story moves back to Australia, Kater once again demonstrates how good a writer he really is. To be in charge of such a large canvas, and to keep true to the historical facts of this era is no small thing. His portrait of the Blue Lagoon was a masterful triumph. But not only that, his portrayal of those who lived in this region was fabulous. Kater certainly knows how to bring his characters and the historical landscape to life.
I adored the characterisation of Jamie. He is such a brave and honourable man. A true hero. However, he is a bit of a contradiction — when faced with armed criminals he is calm, collected and confident, yet, when it comes to women, Jamie becomes a stuttering nervous wreck which makes him so very endearing. Jamie’s relationship with Carna is very sweet and tender and was one I enjoyed watching develop over the course of the story. Likewise, Jacko, and his wonderful half-sister, Sarah, continued to fascinate.
There is no doubt in my mind that The Warramunga’s Aftermath of War is a monumental work of scholarship. If you are looking for your next historical thriller, then this is the book for you.
I Highly Recommend.
Review by Mary Anne Yarde
The Coffee Pot Book Club.
Greg Kater is an Australian-based author. He lives in Sanctuary Cove, Gold Coast, Queensland and has recently retired from a 55-year international career in the resources industry. The Warramunga’s War is his first work of fiction. He has since written and published two more books, The Warramunga’s Aftermath of War and Skills of the Warramunga, altogether comprising a trilogy.
The principal fictional characters interact with actual historical figures and events which have been rigorously researched. The subject of the novel is partly inspired by the experiences of the author’s father during the war in the Middle East, and partly by his own experiences in northern Australia where he worked extensively throughout the Northern Territory and the Kimberley.