Relevant recent history (background):
1. The 2002 Bali bombings and the 2004-5 wider JI bombings against Australian interests brought much public outcry, but comparatively little subsequent action.
2. After that, Jemaah Islamiyah went quiet in Australia. They were setting up assassination capabilities in consultation with the Philippines-based MILF and concluding a formal alliance with Al-Qaeda. They were (are?) also active in the sectarian conflict in northern Indonesia.
3. Australia had just seen the Cronulla race riots and some poorly-organised terrorist plots uncovered in Sydney and Melbourne.
4. An inquest into the 1975 "Balibo Five" killings in East Timor (now Timor-Leste) was held in Sydney in 2007. Imagine what would happen if that had been disrupted.
Threading both fact and fiction, Days of Vengeance by Richard Hughes offers a fascinating, plausible insight into how little it takes to send your life down a completely different path. Vengeful Tisiphone, once just another young woman relaxing on holiday in Bali, now stealthily spends her time using direct-action tactics to solve people problems. Fast-paced descriptions of these methods along with her keen swordsmanship will have you on edge.
In her independent quest for vengeance, her discovery of a connection to another terrorist cell in Australia cannot be ignored. Enter Mangle, the hardened Australian counter-terrorism expert / detective type sent to retrieve further information. Throughout most of the novel he is shown as resilient and practical, with his joie de vivre (the interesting Fern) delivering further depth and mellow moments in a story that is otherwise interspersed with samurai swords, car bombs, witty banter, and strategic manoeuvres.
There are surprising twists in abundance along the way, and expert detail —especially with respect to location, weaponry— completes the scenes rather than detracts from them. As a result, the plot flows well, easily building up to the kind of page-turning enthusiasm that you can expect from a writer worth your while. At a minimum, I imagine a sequel or spin-off in the future because the tale ends with a few minor yet teasing loose ends and, simply put, it was awesome.
You might want to now go read it for yourself.
There’s a lot to be said about TV cooking shows, the marketing hype, and its flow-on effects... The moral of the story here is that revenge is a dish best served cold ;)
Would you like to read further teasing tales of vengeance? 'Days of Vengeance' (same author) has just as much minutiae, mayhem, and magic as is packed into 'Banquet'.