How to read…Paul Fraser Collard’s Jack Lark series

For sheer consistency, Paul Fraser Collard will be hard to beat. And, as well as writing superb books, Jack Lark also raids your bank balance a couple of times a year.
Paul has managed to still appear fresh, while seeming to have been around for years.

If you would like to buy one of the novels, click on its cover and you’ll go to their page at The Book Depository.

1. The Scarlet Thief (2013)
The Scarlet Thief introduces us to Jack Lark, a formidable and compelling hero – brutally courageous, roguish, ambitious – in a historical novel as robust as it is thrillingly authentic bu an author who brings history and battle vividly alive.
1854: The banks of the Alma river, Crimean Peninsula. The Redcoats stagger to a bloody halt. The men of the King’s Royal Fusileers are in terrible trouble, ducking and twisting as the storm of shot, shell and bullet tears through their ranks.
Jack Lark has to act immediately and decisively. His life and the success of the campaign depend on it. But does he have the mettle, the officer qualities that are the life blood of the British Army? From a poor background Lark has stolen the rank and position far above his own and now he faces the ultimate test…

2. The Maharaja’s General (2013)
Jack Lark barely survived the Battle of the Alma. As the brutal fight raged, he learned the true duty that came with the officer’s commission he’d taken. With his stolen life left lying on the Crimean battlefield, he grasps a chance to prove himself leader once more. Poor Captain Danbury is dead, but Jack will travel to his new regiment in India, under his name.
Jack soon makes more enemies, but this time they’re on his own side. Exposed as a fraud, he’s rescued by the chaplain’s beautiful daughter, who has her own reasons to escape. They seek desperate refuge with the Maharaja of Sawadh, the charismatic leader whom the British Army must subdue. He sees Jack as a curiosity, but recognises a fellow military mind. In return for his safety, Jack must train the very army the British may soon have to fight…

3. The Devil’s Assassin (2015)
Bombay, 1857. Jack Lark is living precariously as an officer when his heroic but fraudulent past is discovered by the Devil – Major Ballard, the army’s intelligence officer. Ballard is gathering a web of information to defend the British Empire, and he needs a man like Jack on his side. Not far away, in Persia, the Shah is moving against British territory and, with the Russians whispering in his ear, seeks to conquer the crucial city of Herat. The Empire’s strength is under threat and the army must fight back.
As the British march to war, Jack learns that secrets crucial to the campaign’s success are leaking into their enemies’ hands. Ballard has brought him to the battlefield to end a spy’s deceit. But who is the traitor?

4. The Lone Warrior (2015)
Bombay, 1857. India is simmering with discontent, and Jack Lark, honourably discharged from the British Army, aims to take the first ship back to England. But before he leaves, he cannot resist the adventure of helping a young woman escape imprisonment in a gaming house. He promises to escort Aamira home, but they arrive in Delhi just as the Indian Mutiny explodes.
As both sides commit horrific slaughter and the seige of Delhi begins, Jack realises that despite the danger he cannot stand by and watch. At heart, he is still a soldier…

5. The Last Legionnaire (2016)
London, 1859. After years fighting for Queen and country, Jack Lark walks back into his mother’s East End gin palace a changed man. Haunted by the horrors of battle, he longs for a life to call his own. But everything and everyone around him has altered beyond recognition, and Jack no longer belongs there.
A desperate moment leaves him indebted to the Devil – intelligence officer Major John Ballard, who leads Jack to the battlefield with a task he can’t refuse. He tried to deny being a soldier once. He won’t make the same mistake again.
The armies of Europe are about to go to war.

Jack Lark will march with them.

6. The True Soldier (2017)
‘This ain’t the kind of war you are used to. It’s brother against brother, countryman against countryman’
April, 1861. Jack Lark arrives in Boston as civil war storms across America. 
A hardened soldier, Jack has always gone where he was ordered to go – and killed the enemy he was ordered to kill. But when he becomes a sergeant for the Union army, he realises that this conflict between North and South is different. Men are choosing to fight – and die – for a cause they believe in. 
The people of Boston think it will take just one, great battle. But, with years of experience, Jack knows better. This is the beginning of something that will tear a country apart – and force Jack to see what he is truly fighting for. 

7. The Rebel Killer (2019)
Fighting for the Union gave Jack Lark purpose. But America is tearing itself apart and no one will be left in peace.
Virginia, 1861. With his comrades defeated, Jack turns his back on the battlefield. At heart he’s still a soldier, but this wholly uncivil war has left him wanting something – and someone – more. Lost in the woods with the Confederate army closing in, Jack will stop at nothing to protect Rose and the future they might share.
Then one bullet changes everything and Jack wakes up in a military hospital – alone. Broken but determined, he sets out on an epic journey across the Confederacy disguised in the grey coat of his one-time enemy. He will find the man who destroyed his life. Jack Lark is out for revenge. 

8. The Lost Outlaw (2019)
In the midst of civil war, America stands divided. Jack Lark has faced both armies first hand, but will no longer fight for a cause that isn’t his. 1863, Louisiana. Jack may have left the battlefield behind, but his gun is never far from reach, especially on the long and lonely road to nowhere. Soon, his skill lands him a job, and a new purpose.
Navy Colt in hand, Jack embarks on the dangerous task of escorting a valuable wagon train of cotton down through Texas to Mexico. Working for another man, let alone a man like the volatile Brannigan, isn’t going to be easy. With the cargo under constant attack, and the Deep South’s most infamous outlaws hot on their trail, Jack knows he is living on borrowed time. 
And, as they cross the border, Jack soon discovers that the usual rules of war don’t apply. He will have to fight to survive, and this time the battle might prove one he could lose.