Book Review

Skills Of The Warramunga by Greg Kater

Skills of The Warramunga is the third book in the historical fiction trilogy by Greg Kater. This book follows the publication of first two books, The Warramunga’s War and The Warramunga’s Aftermath of War.

The principal fictional characters interact with actual historical figures and events which author have rigorously researched. The subject of this third novel draws largely from author’s experiences working in South East Asia; and his knowledge of the geography and history of the Malaysians region.


Book Summary: Skills Of The Warramunga

The events take place during the first half of 1946; when former army officer, Jamie Munro, and half-caste aboriginal, Jack “Jacko” O’Brien, who head the Commonwealth Investigation Service in Darwin, are called on to assist in the rescue of Colonel John Cook. John is a senior operative of MI6, and unknown bandits have kidnapped him into the jungles of Malaya.

Jamie and Jacko had worked in intelligence operations with Colonel Cook during the desert campaign in North Africa in WWII.

The war is over, but the peace has not begun ….

The pair with Jacko’s half- sister, Sarah, a full blood Aborigine, originally from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, arrive in Kuala Lumpur in the aftermath of war. They have to contend not only with the impenetrable jungle of the Malay peninsula, but also with a large murderous and subversive organisation of Fascist criminals. These criminal’s aim is to disrupt the 1st of April 1946 creation of the Malayan Union by the British Military Authority; foment an uprising and take over control of the country. They needed all the inherent bushcraft skills of the Warramunga to prevent catastrophic mayhem on the Malayan Peninsula.

Skills Of The Warramunga

Book Review: Skills Of The Warramunga

The book is set in 1946 Malaya, just after the end of the World War II. The plot of this intriguing historical fiction includes kidnapping, theft and murder. When bandits kidnapped MI6 head of operation, Colonel Johnny Cook, and held him captive in the jungle of Malaya, his Australian colleague make it their mission to rescue him. Jamie, Jacko and Colonel had previously worked together running an intelligence operation in Cairo, in 1941.

Jamie Munro, a former army officer, along with his friend Jack O’Brien, a half-blood aboriginal, now heads Darwin’s Commonwealth Investigation Service. Sarah, Jacko’s half-sister, joined them as they head to rescue Johnny. She is a Warramunga Aboriginal and skilled tracker.

Meanwhile, there has been two murders and a robbery at the tin mine near Parit. The whereabouts of the mysterious Pieter de Groote, who reported the crime and is now a suspect, remain unknown. With the increase in recent assault and burglaries, the local law enforcement fears the crime may be related to rumors about a criminal organization seeking to disrupt the upcoming Malayan Union Ceremony.

The plot thickens when they learned that Johnny Cook was kidnapped because he was mistaken for Colonel Samuel Martin, one of the new government administration members. There was never a dull moment in this action-packed historical adventure.

The plot was well-written and the author also have intertwined pertinent details from the previous two books of the series. The plot supported by a diverse cast of well-developed characters. Author brought the characters to life through the use of their native dialects. Not only the Aussie and British accents but readers will be introduced to new vocabulary from different languages too. This book would be a treat to the readers who enjoys historical fiction and action adventures.

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