The Warramunga’s Aftermath of War by Greg Kater

‘In 1945, the wet in the Top End started in November and increased in intensity, producing its heaviest rain and strongest winds by Christmas.’

In the immediate post-war period, Jamie Munro and Jack ‘Jacko’ O’Brien are heading up the Darwin Offices of the Commonwealth Investigation Service (CIS).   The novel opens, on Christmas Day, with Jamie and Jacko aboard the Darwin Harbour Pilot’s cutter in rough seas.  Jamie and Jacko had volunteered to join others in investigating the report of a vehicle in distress of heavy seas north of Point Charles.

This is the beginning of a busy, action-packed tale.  Once the boat is found, there are plenty of questions needing answers.  There’s evidence of a child smuggling operation which seems to involve a major criminal organisation.  Jamie and Jacko have leads to follow in the Philippines, but they need to be careful: who can they trust?  Discoveries in the Philippines lead Jamie and Jacko to Australian and American involvement.  So, with a cunning plan designed to uncover just who is involved at the Australian end of the operation, the action moves from the Philippines to Australia.

And, if uncovering corruption isn’t enough, there’s a kidnapping to deal with.  The stakes are high as those who are part of the child smuggling operation seek to bargain for their freedom.

This is the second book in Mr Kater’s trilogy about Jamie Munro and Jacko O’Brien.  It moves at a frenetic pace, has plenty of twists and turns as well as a touch of romance.

What else can I say about this novel?    As I remarked in my review of the first novel, I dislike references to Aboriginal people as ‘half-caste’, although I appreciate that the term may have been considered less offensive in the 1940s than it is now.  I found the story easy to follow even though the pace is frenetic at times.  It’s definitely a novel for those who like plenty of action.   I liked that Jacko and Jamie continue to be equally important in the story.

I’m awaiting the third instalment: I want to see how it ends!

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith