Monday 19 January 2015

REVIEW: THE SCARLET THIEF by Paul Fraser Collard

The Scarlet ThiefThe Scarlet Thief by Paul Fraser Collard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a storming debut novel. Jack Lark is a strong likable character. The set up is clever, allowing Jack to flee from his past, assuming the identity of a deceased officer and to escape to the Crimean. There, he has to think fast to survive in the brutal Battle of the Alma.

The battle scenes are relentless, with blood, mud and entrails splashed over the pages, as the troops are scythed down by rifle and cannon fire.

Paul Fraser Collard does not shy away from the horrors of warfare, and the details that pepper the storytelling give the novel a real sense of authenticity.

At the core of the story is Jack Lark's quest for acceptance in a world that has little to offer one such as he -- a low class lad from the slums of London. Lark is ingenious, daring and loyal to his friends and you cannot help rooting for him.

The first in a series, THE SCARLET THIEF, is an easy 5 stars.

I am looking forward to reading more of Jack's exploits as he travels the great British Empire of the nineteenth century. I am sure of one thing, where Jack Lark goes, adventure will be sure to follow.

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