Conflict On The Yangtze by Greg Kater
Beyond the end of the Second World War, after the Japanese surrender, the fighting never ceased in China …
This is the fourth historical novel in the Warramunga series by Greg Kater. The events take place during 1946 when former army officer, Jamie Munro, and educated half-aborigine, Jack “Jacko” O’Brien, who head the Commonwealth Investigation Service in Darwin, are asked by Colonel John Cook, a senior commanding officer of MI6, to go to China and assist in the investigation of a drug cartel who are believed responsible for killing one of his operatives along the Yangtze River.
During the recent war, Jamie and Jacko had worked in intelligence operations with Colonel Cook during the desert campaign in North Africa, as the Afrika Corps threatened Egypt, and later in South East Asia in the aftermath of war.
The pair arrive in Shanghai via Manila in the aftermath of the Japanese occupation with Harry Williams, chief of the US intelligence agency, Office of Strategic Services (OSS), in the Philippines. They had worked with Harry previously in the Philippines on a case involving child smuggling (The Warramunga’s Aftermath of War). They are met at Shanghai’s Bund Docks by Johnny and Lee Drake, a half-Chinese MI6 operative who had lived in Shanghai, posing as a tea merchant, throughout the war. Jamie and Jacko learn that the current state of affairs in China is very complicated. They not only have to contend with the drug cartel but also with gangs, warlords and corrupt personages of influence. They are told the opium produced by the drug cartel is shipped to the Philippines for treatment and from there to the USA and Australia. To reach the centre of the opium operations it is necessary to travel hundreds of miles in a motorised junk up the Yangtze River where hostile, trigger-happy gangs and groups inhabit the riverbanks.
5 Star Review: Author Greg Kater takes this historical fiction beyond his ‘Warramunga’ trilogy, to post WWII, as the fighting continues between the Kuomintang Government, the communists, warlords and various gangs along the Yangtze River in China.
I found it interesting that Australian based Author Greg Kater brings his first hand experiences, education, and knowledge of the region into his story, since his career retirement from the international resources industry where he visited China many times. Who better to tell us about the impact of WWII on China and the infighting between fractions trying to hold on to their influence and power in the region?
Author Greg Kater has a unique story telling style that paints a vivid picture while he keeps the story moving along with strong, relatable characters using great dialog that draws the reader into the humanity of the situation. Let me share this quote with you from Chapter Twelve:
“It was raining heavily again when Henri, Carna and Sarah were saying their farewells to Angelo and his family at Hernani. ‘It is a good thing if we leave now, n’est-ce pas?’ said Henri to Angelo. ‘I can’t thank you enough for your kindness. It is my intention to set up a sawmill here when there are fewer bad men around. I will employ many local people.’ Carna translated Henri’s words and then Angelo’s response. ‘No, no. It is me to thank you, sir,’ responded Angelo. ‘Again, I am sorry for being responsible for putting you and Miss Carna in such danger.’ ‘Non, non. Think nothing of it,’ protested Henri. Carna explained to Angelo that they should leave before danger came down the road looking for them. She said that if anyone asked him or Almado, to say they had never met them. ‘Diri! No, never met you,’ repeated Angelo, winking. With a last wave, Jacinto, Henri, Carna and Sarah ran out through the rain into the vehicle and were soon slipping, sliding, and bumping down the road to Giporlos where they were sure that Manny Alvarez and his boat, with Monique and Bella aboard, would be waiting. And waiting they were. Monique was so worried that she had left the boat and was pacing up and down in the rain. They were supposed to have returned long before now. She wanted to walk up the road to look for them, but realised it was much too far. She pictured her father and the others lying injured beside the crashed jeep with no one to help them. Or worse, they had been captured by Japanese soldiers who didn’t know the war was over. She had heard stories that many such units remained in the forests of the Philippines. Oh Jacko, you are so far away when we need you. She tried to stop thinking about all the other dreadful things that might have overtaken her father and friends. Bella was sitting under cover in the boat silently sobbing, while Manny was plying her with cups of coffee and telling her that Samar was a safe place now the war had ended. The only sounds were the rain falling, the chirping of birds in the trees and unidentifiable noises of wildlife, until everyone was alerted by the distant groans from the north of a labouring motor drawing closer.”
Whether you are a history buff or not, Conflict On The Yangtze is an interesting read with historical significance. The author wisely wrote each of his books as stand-alone, so his readers can enjoy each book in the order and pace the reader chooses. I recommend you read Conflict On The Yangtze and then go back and read The Warramunga’s War, The Warramunga’s Aftermath Of War, and Skills Of The Warramunga by Greg Kater. 5 Stars. Review by Theodocia McLean.
Paperback: 270 Pages
Publisher: Zeus Publications (March 4, 2019)
Genre: Crime Thrillers, War Fiction
Warramunga Trilogy by Greg Kater Is An
Extraordinary Historical Fiction Novel Filled
With Espionage, War and Mystery.
Book One In Warramunga Trilogy
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.
Review: The Warramunga’s War by Greg Kater is an extraordinary historical fiction novel filled with espionage, war and mystery. In it, readers follow the lives of two men, Jamie and Jacko, fighting together in the Middle East and Egypt during World War II. Jacko saves Jamie’s life and they quickly become close friends. They are allocated different assignments in different fields of action that they implement and carry out. Jamie, Lieutenant James Munro, is an officer in the Australian army and Jacko, Sergeant Jack O’ Brien, is an Australian army officer, as well. Together they make a great team and their close friendship and communication with real people from history is the central theme of this fabulous story. Their adventures are paramount and readers will follow along with them on their journey into war and espionage.
This book is filled with twists and turns and had me turning the pages quickly to find out what would happen next. I was fully engaged from the very first chapter all the way to the satisfying conclusion. This a great book. If you love historical war fiction with mystery, espionage and some romance, you will love The Warramunga’s War. The characters are fully developed with complete back stories and interesting dialogue between them. There is an array of colorful characters that are essential and fully appreciated. Their interaction and communication is written well. Author Greg Kater is a fine writer and I have had the pleasure of reading all three of his books in the Warramunga series. He manages to create a brilliant storyline and plot full of mystery and excitement that all comes together magnificently at the end. I’m not going to give away any spoilers, one must get this book and read it to find out how remarkable it truly is.
The Warramunga’s War will interest and engross all discerning readers. It is engaging, compelling and exciting, full of intrigue and enigma, I completely enjoyed the puzzling mysteries that this book held. The narrative is original and creative making for a fantastic read. The descriptive writing had me on the scene fully present watching on as the story unfolded. Greg Kater takes a complicated story and ties it all up neatly with an easy to follow along storyline and plot. He is an exceptional writer and all his books are excellent. I can’t wait to read more books penned by him, as I can never get enough. Artisan Book Reviews highly recommends The Warramunga’s War, book one, in the Warramunga series. Get yourself a copy and be captivated and fully entertained. Review by Artisan Book Reviews
Paperback: 304 Pages
Genre: Fiction, Historical, World War II, Military, War
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The Warramunga’s Aftermath Of War by Greg Kater
Book Two In Warramunga Trilogy
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.
Paperback: 310 Pages
Genre: Fiction, Historical, World War II, Military, War, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, International Mystery, Crime
Skills Of The Warramunga by Greg Kater
Book Three In Warramunga Trilogy
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 organisation 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 bushcraft 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.
Paperback: 314 Pages
Genre: Fiction, Historical, World War II, Military, War, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, International Mystery, Crime
Message From The Author: “I recently retired and live from a 55-year international career in the resource industry.
The Warramunga’s War is my first work of historical fiction. 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 my father, who fought in the Middle East, and partly from my own experiences in northern Australia where I worked extensively throughout the NT and Kimberley.
The Warramunga’s War is the first of a trilogy.”
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