Saturday 2 March 2019

#Book Review — The Warramunga's War, by Greg Kater #HistoricalFiction #WWII @gregkaterauthor

The Warramunga's War
 By Greg Kater

The Warramunga's War is a sweeping narrative of the friendship that forms between a young Australian army officer, Jamie Munro, and an educated half-caste Warramunga aboriginal NCO, Jack 'Jacko' O'Brien, during the Syrian campaign against the Vichy French in World War II. Jacko rescues a wounded Jamie after which they are conscripted in Cairo by MI6. Here, Jamie and Jacko learn about the seamy side of war in counterespionage as they track down German spies. The principal fictional characters interact with actual historical figures and events throughout the story.

As the desert war escalates to the west of Cairo, the MI6 team confuses the enemy with misleading radio messages using German codes and using local entertainers as undercover agents. On one of his day leaves, Jacko meets a beautiful young Syrian-French girl and a strong romantic bond forms between the two during his time in Cairo.

Following the end of the desert war, Jamie and Jacko are assigned to wartime intelligence work in Southeast Asia. After the end of the Pacific war, they initiate the Darwin operations of the CIS, the Commonwealth Investigation Service. On the trail of two suspected wartime German agents, they discover the agents have formed a dangerous criminal gang with an individual they had known during their time in Cairo. The tracking skills of the Warramunga are needed to finally catch up with the murderous gang in Western Australia's Kimberley region.

“I needed some fellows who are not known here and have seen action and it was suggested that I ask General Allen for a couple of men who had distinguished themselves in the Syrian campaign. That’s why you are here.”

Australian army officer, Jamie Munro of the 7th Division should be dead. If it were not for the bravery and the quick thinking of Corporal Jack “Jacko” O’Brien, then he would be. Jamie cannot remember much about what happened after he was hit by shrapnel, but he did know that Jacko carried him away from the danger and all the way to the hospital. For that, Jamie is eternally grateful.

Now that the Syrian campaign against the Vichy French has ended, Jamie and Jacko wonder where they will be conscripted to next. They did not expect to end up in Cairo, working alongside MI6.

They may not be in the direct firing line now, but counterespionage comes with its own set of challenges. Along with Corporal Matthew MacAulay from the 9th Division, they track down the German spies in the area and feed them with misleading information. However, this is a dangerous world, where trust is not so easily won, and danger lurks around every corner.

The hunt for German spies is not the only thing Jamie and Jacko have to worry about. For one of their agents, a young dancer called Farida, has been found dead. Murdered. Major Harold Hardcastle from the Palestine Police Force tells them that Farida is not the only one who has died under such terrible circumstances. MI6 must work with the Palestine Police Force to catch this serial killer, but it is a task that turns out to be easier said than done and it will take them across two continents.

From the war in Syria to the wild outback of Western Australia, The Warramunga’s War, by Greg Kater is the enthralling story of two unlikely soldiers who are thrown together by circumstance and then face unprecedented challenges in the fight against enemy espionage.

The Warramunga’s War is filled with non-stop action, cliff-hanger tension, and characters that seem to leap off the page. With an exciting narrative that is backed up by confident research, Kater is the kind of author that makes historical fiction lovers prick up their ears and take notice.

There was nothing I did not love about the book. The historical backdrop was spectacular. There is enough plot twists to satisfy the hardest of critics. The writing is elegant and engaging, and the story is fabulous. This is the kind of novel you can immerse yourself in and forget about everything else for a couple of hours.

I adored the characterisation of Jacko. His humanity and his bravery were inspiring. His relationship with the beautiful Monique gave this story a moment of peace during times of trouble. Likewise, Jamie is incredibly heroic. His actions are always for the greater good. Jacko and Jamie are an unlikely pair, but they work so well together. It was a pleasure to witness their friendship strengthen throughout the course of this book. 

There are several seedy antagonists in this story, and although they do some terribly despicable crimes, Kater strikes the right balance when describing their actions. He goes into just enough detail to make you loathe them, but then he stops so as not to make this book an uncomfortable read. There is a who-done-it mentality to this story regarding the murders, and I have to admit, I missed all the little clues that Kater threw at me!

Kater has researched this time in history with scrupulous care. His attention to detail has to be commended. Kater’s portrayal of Cairo and Australia was wonderful and authentic as well as being luxuriantly detailed — I could almost feel the heat of the midday sun. His portrayal of the people in these two countries during this era was magnificent. This book is an example of historical fiction at its very best.

The Warramunga’s War was everything I hoped it would be and then some. I cannot wait to read book #2 of this remarkable trilogy.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Greg Kater

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.

Connect with Greg: Website • Amazon Author Page • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads.

1 comment:

See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx