SUMMARY: 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.
The BookViral Review: With German and Japanese insurgents planning to grab control of Malaya and carrying out high ranking abductions, the stakes have never been higher for Jamie and Jacko as they once again find themselves far from home. There are many good military fiction novels that capture the common elements of military engagements, but novels like Skills of the Warramunga bring something unique to the reading experience. Taut and exciting its appeal lies in the detail Kater imparts and his ability to create a sense of immediacy that feels bracingly authentic and at times even disconcerting. With superb lead characters, vividly described scenes and superbly nuanced dialogue he takes the angst and uncertainty of combat and dispels any idealised sense of exhilaration. We can imagine the indigenous flora and fauna that surrounds them, the heat of the jungle as Kater gives us flashes of brutality, but what we never lose sight of is the enduring bon amie between Jamie, Jacko and Sarah that makes these books such a good read. Each one of Kater’s protagonists is at ground zero facing the reality of uncertain combat and it makes for a genuine page-turner and one that’s hard to forget.
Ending on a high note with Jacko making good on his promise to marry his beloved Monique Skills of the Warramunga makes a fine addition to Kater’s Warramunga series and is highly recommended.