Colonel John Cook, a senior MI6 officer, had flown from London to Singapore in mid-March 1946 to assist the new Malayan Security Service (MSS) with the security for the ceremonies associated with the creation of the Malayan Union on 1 April 1946. He certainly wasn’t expecting to be kidnapped and held captive in the Malayan jungle, but that is exactly what happened to him.
On 20 March 1946, Jamie Munro, of the Australian Commonwealth Investigative Service in Darwin, receives a call from Algie Browning, with the MSS in Kuala Lumpur. MI6 in London have suggested that Jamie might be able to help find Colonel Cook. Jamie and his friend Jack ‘Jacko’ O’Brien had previously worked with John Cook on intelligence operations during the North Africa campaign during the war. So Jamie, Jacko, and Jacko’s half-sister Sarah head off to Kuala Lumpur. Sarah and Jacko (who identifies as part-Aboriginal) are Warramunga people from the Tennant Creek region. Jacko is a good tracker, well-versed in bushcraft but Sarah is exceptional. All of their skills will be required to find who took Colonel Cook, and where, in the Malayan jungle.
But finding Colonel Cook is just the first part of the trio’s adventures in Malaya. Not everyone is in favour of the Malayan Union, and both fascists and communists would like to take control of the country. How can Jamie, Jacko and Sarah prevent disaster? Who can they trust?
This is the third novel in Mr Kater’s Warramunga trilogy, and while I strongly recommend reading the novels in order, this novel could be read as a standalone. Still, reading the novels in order gives a much stronger sense of the characters, who they are and how they came to be working together. I’ve read the three novels over a space of a couple of months and have become fond of the characters. I’ve enjoyed the way that Mr Kater has woven his stories around the history. I’ve particularly enjoyed the way in which the partnership between Jamie, Jacko and Sarah recognises the contributions that each of them makes. There’s plenty of action to keep you turning the pages, and a satisfying ending (or two) as well.
Note: My thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.
- Paperback: 314 pages
- Publisher: Zeus Publications (21 August 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0648278085
- ISBN-13: 978-0648278085
- Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 1.7 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 422 g
- Customer Reviews: 2 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)