4 out of 4 stars
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Jamie Munro and Jack O’Brien (Jacko) are part of a rescue mission in the sea north of Australia. A foundering ship is recovered, but what they find on board is horrifying. The rescue team realizes they have come across a ship involved in trafficking of children. They set the wheels in motion to uncover who’s behind this so they can end it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the network of evil stretches from Australia to the Philippines and the United States. Making things even more difficult is the fact that many of those involved are in powerful positions. Our guys can trust no one, maybe not even those who are supposed to help stop the trafficking.
The Warramunga’s Aftermath of War is the second book of three by Greg Kater involving these characters. Each stands alone, but once you’ve read one, you’ll probably want to read another! Jamie and Jacko are brave, intelligent men who are willing to risk their lives completing dangerous missions to save others. Jacko’s girlfriend lives in Egypt; he’s desperate to see her again. Jamie is unattached - until he meets a woman who helps them as a translator, that is. She makes him rethink the idea of staying outside the unsettling world of romance.
I’m fascinated by the settings of Australia’s Northern Territory and of the Philippines that Kater so vividly describes. Wild areas replete with dangers such as enormous crocodiles, backwoods towns with one store, and large cities with all the amenities, all play their part. The language at times sounded odd to me which was perfect for keeping me in the scene. I felt I was in a different time and place from where I was in reality. Unfamiliar terms were generally made clear from the action. Kater does an excellent job of drawing the reader into the scenes and drama of the story.
One thing I found unbelievable is how open Jamie and Jacko were about their undercover mission. Almost everyone was a possible suspect, making secrecy of utmost importance. Then they recruited people off the street to help, giving way more information than they should! One man they trusted gave a clue that he wasn’t as safe as they thought. He wasn’t told that all the children in this case were boys, yet the man called the traffickers (among other strong epithets) a ‘bunch of queers’. Didn’t that indicate that he knew more than he should as an innocent man? But he wasn’t one of the bad guys. That struck me as unrealistic.
It surprised me to feel like I was coming to the end of the book as things wound down only halfway through. The first part of the mission came to an end, but then the action accelerated again. The next segment of the investigation was even more dangerous and suspenseful. I really enjoyed this well-edited, well-written novel that Kater, in his biography, tells us is inspired by his and his father’s real experiences in that part of the world. I would probably take off a half star for the unbelievability of some parts, but not a whole star. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
This is a book for readers who like skilled, capable men willing to risk whatever it takes to accomplish good in the world. It’s also for anyone who wants to be immersed in dangerous areas of the world with characters who insist bad guys don’t get away with their crimes.
The Warramunga's Aftermath of War
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