THE WARRAMUNGA’S WAR

The Warramunga’s War is a sweeping narrative of the friendship that forms between a young Australian army officer, Jamie Munro, and an educated half-casteWarramunga aboriginal NCO, Jack ‘Jacko’ O’Brien, duringthe Syrian campaign against the Vichy French in World War II. Jacko rescues a wounded Jamie after which they are conscripted in Cairo by MI6. Here, Jamie and Jacko learn about the seamy side of war in counterespionage as they track down German spies. The principal fictional characters interact with actual historical figures and events throughout the story.


As the desert war escalates to the west of Cairo, the MI6 team confuses the enemy with misleading radio messages using German codes and using local entertainers as undercover agents. On one of his day leaves, Jacko meets a beautiful young Syrian-French girl and a strong romantic bond forms between the two during his time in Cairo.


Following the end of the desert war, Jamie and Jacko are assigned to wartime intelligence work in Southeast Asia. After the end of the Pacific war, they initiate the Darwin operations of the CIS, the Commonwealth Investigation Service. On the trail of two suspected wartime German agents, they discover the agents have formed a dangerous criminal gang with an individual they had known during their time in Cairo. The tracking skills of the Warramunga are needed to finally catch up with the murderous gang in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

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Book Reviews

Online Bookclub Review; Rosemary Wright

..."suspenseful and absorbing, the tale is well written, easy to read, and full of fascinating historical details...the historical setting is excellent, and the narration is compelling. It's filled with a lot of riveting action scenes...with sharp writing and gentle humour."

Chicklit Cafe book reviews; Goodreads.com

"The Warramungas War is a tremendous story with a great plot which is filled with unexpected twists and turns."

Review by Darryl Greer for Readers Favorite

"This is a war story with a difference, a crime novel with a difference, an historical novel with a difference, an adventure story with a difference and I can’t wait for the movie."

Review by Ella James : ARTISAN BOOK REVIEWS

"I completely and thoroughly enjoyed The Warramunga’s War. It is the best historical, war and espionage book I have ever read. I was entirely engaged, unable to put it down, It is an enjoyable and delightfully entertaining book to read. It is filled with anticipation, peril, unpredictability and bravery. I look forward to reading more by Greg Kater."

Review by Sligobard; onlinebookclub.org

"With a well-deserved rating of 4 out of 4 stars, it is easy to see this being adapted someday for a PBS Masterpiece co-production with the BBC or ITV. Until that happens be sure to read The Warramunga’s War."

Review 1

Official Review: Onlinebookclub.org


by Rosemary Wright» 23 Mar 2018, 

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Warramunga's War" by Greg Kater.]

‪4 out of 4 stars


The Warramunga's War, written by Greg Kater, is the first novel in a trilogy. It's a historical fiction about war and espionage. Lieutenant James Munro and Corporal Jack O'Brien were among the Australian troops that fought against the Nazi Vichy French in Syria and Lebanon. Shortly after the end of the Syrian Campaign, James and Jack were promoted and transferred to Egypt to be part of the army's intelligence agency in Cairo. Now in Egypt, their mission, with the aid of other operatives, is to detect and neutralize the German agents who are in contact with Rommel, the commander of the Afrika Korps.


‪Cairo is a place full of agents attached to the Germans, Italians, British, and others, and these operatives are all working desperately to find out battle plans and other secrets to give to their masters. Operating in such an insecure location, will James and Jack succeed in this mission? Having some interesting twists, this book's plot is solid and fast paced, and set in the 1940s, the narrative features spies, mysterious crime, and adventures. Written in the third-person point of view, it explores the themes of the essence of teamwork, dedication, determination, and love.


‪Being suspenseful and absorbing, the tale is well written, easy to read, and full of fascinating historical details. Excitingly, it gives a fair account of the Egyptian pyramids, Sphinx, and other structures at Giza. No less, the historical setting is excellent, and the narration is compelling. It's filled with a lot of riveting action scenes. Frankly, I had a great time reading the story. Besides, what makes it more captivating is Greg's sharp writing and gentle humor. I like the way he teamed his characters to achieve a common goal, and I commend him for his vast knowledge of the military and famous wars.


‪In addition, the characters are unique, exciting, and well developed particularly the focal characters, James and Jack. They are high-spirited and full of fun, and I enjoyed reading about them. The dialogues are realistic and can easily grip readers. A bit of romance is in the story, and intriguingly, a guitar music sheet is included in the book. Some readers who are music fans may love this extra. 


‪Lastly, this book is balanced since it consists of enthralling and sufficient conversations, action, and narration. It's engaging and worthwhile. 


Moreover, I couldn't find any fault with the novel and hence, I rate it4 out of 4 stars. Undoubtedly, it will be a feast for fans of historical fiction blended with mystery and romance.


Review 2

Chicklit Cafe book reviews; Goodreads.com

The Warramungas War is a tremendous story with a great plot which is filled with unexpected twists and turns. It follows two friends, Jamie and Jacko, they are soldiers fighting in the Middle East and Egypt during World War II. They became friends when Jacko saves Jamie’s life. We follow their adventures as they are assigned and complete various tasks and missions in different fields of action. Jamie, Lieutenant James Monro, is an officer in the Australian Army. While Jacko, Sergeant Jack O’Brien, is an educated Australian who is half-white and half Warramunga (an Australian aboriginal tribe soldier). Their friendship and loyalty to one another is the central theme of the book. One thing I loved about the book is that the main characters are communicating and interacting with real people from history. I thought that was written well and rather genius.


While there is a lot going on in this story, it is very well written with skill and expertise. It is a fabulous creative multi genre story which includes: historical, war, mystery and espionage. Author Greg Kater has managed to compose a seemingly complicated tale yet, made it easy to read and follow. I was completely engaged from the very first chapter to the final conclusion which was fully appreciated and satisfying.


I thoroughly enjoyed the espionage and mystery aspects of the narrative. Not only does the puzzle fit together like a glove, but author Greg Kater brings in an array of brilliant characters that add flavor and interest to the conundrum.


The Warramungas War is filled with colorful characters that are interesting, with personalities that draw the reader in as we are introduced to them. They are well developed and fleshed out which makes for a great story and phenomenal read.


The storyline is intense and compelling. The writing is reinforced as the main action goes from Egypt to Australia, which is the home for the main characters. The first part of the book is set in Egypt during World War II, while the second part is in Australia. The excellent descriptive writing not only enhanced the characters but fully lit up the descriptions of the countries and surroundings. I particularly enjoyed the way Greg Kater described Central Australia, the people, the culture and the beautiful country.


I totally enjoyed The Warramungas War. It is one of the best historical, war and espionage books I have read in a long time. I was fully engaged and could not put it down, as I turned the pages quickly to find out what was going to happen next. It is an entertaining and relatively fun book to read. It is filled with excitement, danger, uncertainty and heroism. I look forward to Greg Kater’s second upcoming book. Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends The Warramungas War to all readers that are looking for an excellent read, something different and a great escape.

Review 3

Review by Darryl Greer for Readers Favorite

Author, Greg Kater’s first foray into the world of fiction is "The Warramunga’s War." It tells the story, set in World War II and immediately thereafter, of a friendship between a young Australian officer, Jamie Munro and an educated, half-caste Warramunga aboriginal NCO, Jack “Jacko” O’Brien. 


In the opening scenes the Allies in North Africa are fighting the Vichy French. Jacko rescues a wounded Jamie and later, in Cairo, they are conscripted by British intelligence service, MI6. Soon they are hot the trail of suspected German agents. As the desert war escalates, the MI6 team confuses the enemy with misleading radio messages using German codes and local entertainers as undercover agents. Despite the chaos of war, the author has included a touch of romance as, on one of his day leaves, Jacko meets a beautiful, young Syrian-French girl and a strong romantic bond forms. At the end of the war, Jamie and Jacko are assigned to wartime intelligence work in Southeast Asia. 


They eventually find themselves in northern Australia and initiate the Darwin operations of the CIS — Commonwealth Investigation Service. Tracking down two suspected wartime German agents, they discover the agents have formed a dangerous criminal gang with someone they’d met in Cairo. With the aid of Jacko’s tracking skills they pursue the gang through arid and unforgiving parts of the Northern Territory and Western Australia. They are soon to discover that brutal savagery is not restricted to wartime.


Unique is how I would describe "The Warramunga’s War." There are untold books about War World II but they usually follow a distinct pattern — gung-ho heroes who can thrust themselves into a hail of bullets and survive, and other stories that we’ve heard time and time again with only cosmetic changes. The first part of this saga is set during the Allies’ North African campaign, first against the Vichy French and later, against Rommel. The scenes and dialogue ring true, no doubt partly because the author Greg Kater, has drawn on his own father’s experiences. But in addition to that, it is clear that he has put meticulous research into the story’s background. The characters are three dimensional, the scenes come alive — you feel you are there, watching the action as it happens. 


When the narrative moves to Northern Australia again, Kater draws on his own exhaustive experience in the resources industry in parts of Australia that only a limited number of tourists would dare to tread. He clearly has extensive knowledge of the Warramunga tribe. His use of “Pidgin” English for the aboriginal characters’ dialogue is, or at least sounds, spot on. Similarly, his descriptions of outback Australia, the laid back attitude of people in its far flung small towns, the dialogue they use is real. It is clear this book has been professionally edited — alas not something you can take for granted these days — as I didn’t spot one error. In another unique touch, Kater has the characters sing a song which he has written himself — he even includes the music. 


This is a war story with a difference, a crime novel with a difference, an historical novel with a difference, an adventure story with a difference and I can’t wait for the movie.

review 4

Review by Ella James : ARTISAN BOOK REVIEWS

The Warramunga’s War is a stupendous epic story with an exceptional storyline which is full of twists and turns. It recounts the friendship between two friends, Jamie and Jacko, which are soldiers fighting in the Middle East and Egypt during World War II. They become friends when Jacko heroically saves Jamie’s life. Following their adventures, readers find that they are assigned and complete several charges and undertakings in various fields of action. Jamie is Lieutenant James Munro, he is an officer in the Australian Army. With Jacko, Sergeant Jack O’Brien, as an educated Australian who is half-white and half Warramunga -an Australian aboriginal tribe soldier. Their friendship and commitment to one another is the main theme of the book. 


There is a lot going on in this story, and it is written with expertise and skill. It is an amazing original multi-genre story which includes: history, war, espionage and much mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed the espionage and mystery aspects of the narrative. Not only does the perplexities fit together tightly, but author Greg Kater brings in a collection of intense characters that add taste and attention to the dilemma.


The Warramunga’s Waris filled with interesting characters that are colorful, with personalities that draw the reader in. They are well developed and fleshed out which makes for a great story and exceptional read.


The plot is full and flows like water. It is intense and compelling. The writing is augmented as the main action goes from Egypt to Australia, which is the home for the main characters.  The first part of the book is set in Egypt during World War II, while the second part is in Australia. The marvellous illustrative writing not only intensifies the characters but fully highlights the descriptions of the countries and settings. I fully enjoyed the way Greg Kater described Central Australia, the individuals, the cultures and the bountiful country.


I completely and thoroughly enjoyed The Warramunga’s War. It is the best historical, war and espionage book I have ever read. I was entirely engaged, unable to put it down, It is an enjoyable and delightfully entertaining book to read. It is filled with anticipation, peril, unpredictability and bravery. I look forward to reading more by Greg Kater. Artisan Book Reviews highly recommends The Warramunga’s War to all avid discerning readers.

review 5

Review by Sligobard; onlinebookclub.org

Greg Kater did a great job with this
historical novel, fair dinkum.
Warramunga refers to the Aboriginal
tribe settled around Tennant Creek in
the Australian Northern Territory. As
the story opens in July of 1941 the
half-aborigine Jacko O’Brien is serving
with Australian forces in Syria fighting
the Vichy French Foreign Legion
collaborators of the German Army. He
comes to the aid of Lt. James (Jamie)
Munro, 2/5 Battalion, Australian 7th Division, who is pinned down by snipers. For the rest of the novel the two are inseparable. They are soon transferred to Cairo and sensitive assignments with the Commonwealth Investigation Service and MI6 working with Capt. Johnny Cook. The campaign against the Afrika Korps is the background for a tale of intrigue winding through the bazaars and nightlife of the Egyptian city. A serial killer is also on the loose. With victory over Rommel in 1943, Jamie and Jacko are reassigned to duty in the war against Japan. The story jumps to Darwin in September of 1945 and unfinished business to resolve. 


Like Texas, Australia can be a state of mind and Greg Kater paints a vivid mental image during the climactic journey down the Bitumen road and rougher trails all the way through to Halls Creek and beyond into the King Leopold Ranges in the Kimberley that conceals old bushranger hideouts. You can almost smell the tea offered at campsites along the way when the billy boiled. The author can also handle a guitar and as a bonus presents his original arrangement of the “Waterbag Song” complete with musical notation for the chorus. 


The reader is introduced to remote places such as Katherine, Mataranka, Wave Hill Station and Fitzroy Crossing. We learn that a place called Daly Waters functioned as an international airport, Australia’s first, during the 1930’s and serviced American B-17’s on missions against the Japanese in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea. The triumphant denouement includes a Warramunga corroboree, enriching our cultural knowledge. 


An element of romance blossomed when Jacko was in Egypt and met Monique, a French-Syrian heiress. Not even the distance between Cairo and Darwin could cool the mutual ardor of the relationship. This plotline was skillfully handled, mixing it in with everything else that was happening and by the end of the novel there was an optimistic hint that Monique and her family would be coming to Australia under postwar resettlement. 


No shortcomings with the editing or proofreading were found and no spelling mistakes. The first time, though, the word tyre, as in flat tyre, came up it was necessary to remind myself that this novel is not written in American English and the word is indeed spelled that way here. 

With a well-deserved rating of 4 out of 4 stars, it is easy to see this being adapted someday for a PBS Masterpiece co-production with the BBC or ITV. Until that happens be sure to read “The Warramunga’s War.”