Published by Zeus Publications Genres: Action, Adventure, Espionage, Historical Fiction
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 motorized junk up the Yangtze River where hostile, trigger-happy gangs and groups inhabit the riverbanks.
Conflict on the Yangtze by Greg Kater is the fourth book in the Warramunga series by this author and follows the exploits of Jamie Munro and his side-kick Jack O’Brien, aka ‘Jacko’, an educated half aborigine, both of whom are the main protagonists in each of the Warramunga books. In Conflict on the Yangtze, the team set off to investigate and put an end to an opium smuggling operation on the Yangtze River. Not only do they have to find and destroy the opium fields, but then follow the opium on its long journey to Australia and finish the smuggling operation once and for all using whatever means are necessary to achieve their goal. As they travel a precarious journey on a junk up the Yangtze they are fired upon at various points and attacked and boarded by bandits. Using their joint skills, they no sooner overcome one challenge than must face another. Once they have accomplished their first mission, they must turn to the next, to follow the smugglers and deliver them to the authorities. Along the way they face injuries, mosquitoes, a host of biting insects, and snakes, as well as the relentless heat and humidity and overpower a group of desperate men who have their own mission to fulfill.
Add to this the resourcefulness of Jacko’s sister, Sarah, an aborigine with tracking skills second to none, and a canine who becomes the hero of the mission, and you have a grand exciting and tense action-packed adventure. For those who have previously read the Warramunga books they will be familiar with many of the characters and will understand the total dedication and determination they bring to their roles. The author, Greg Kater, has really created believable and amazing characters with a scenario that could not be imagined, save by such an exceptional writer as Greg Kater. The pace is fast and relentless, and the descriptions of the settings so detailed that the reader can imagine they are on that junk boat sailing on the Yangtze to unknown encounters. The author is able to transport the reader across the miles to the intense humidity of China and then to the bleak and desolate Australian outback. Truly a work of skill.
Greg Kater writes with his heart, bringing each of the characters to life with his words and taking the reader along with him. Truly edge of the seat writing, page turning with anticipation, and breathless to the end, Conflict on the Yangtze by Greg Kater is a must for lovers of action and adventure. Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends Conflict on the Yangtze by Greg Kater, another excellent book in the Warramunga series. Book reviewed by Jane Finch for Chick Lit Cafe.
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