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As a mudlark with an unruly tongue, Jack Lark is a man who makes enemies easily although he better than anyone is able to see through the disguise of riches to asses the true nature of his brother officers. Many have the best of intentions. My knowledge about the Crimean War is strictly limited to Florence Nightingale. I welcome, then, the chance to be given a peep inside an unfamiliar period. The Battle of Alma and the general conditions of fighting a war with far too few resources in the mud of the Crimea are told very well indeed.

Characters come and go through the pages and I wanted to know more about most of them. These are terrible days, though. Not all will live long enough for us to get to know. The Scarlet Thief is a debut novel and it is an encouraging one.

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Jack Lark is an extremely interesting character and it is more than apparent that Collard knows his Crimean history very well just as he can also write very well. In this case, the similarities with Sharpe are very clear. The Scarlet Thief is catchy, exciting, violent and strongly driven by an intriguing and virulent leading male. I do hope that in the next novel Collard is allowed to take his time, to develop more of his own voice and to expand on his undoubted historical knowledge and storytelling abilities.

Given that chance, this could turn into a fascinating and thrilling new series. You are commenting using your WordPress.


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You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. 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. Jack Lark, once the Scarlet Thief, has fought hard for his freedom. But will he risk it all to do the right thing? 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.

Burke in the Land of Silver

London, After years of fighting for Queen and country, Jack walks back into his mother's East End gin palace a changed man. Haunted by the horrors of battle and the constant fight for survival, he longs for a life to call his own. But the city and its people have altered almost beyond recognition, and Jack cannot see a place for himself there.

A desperate moment leaves him indebted to the devil - intelligence officer Major John Ballard, who once again leads Jack to the battlefield with a task he can't refuse.

The Scarlet Thief (Jack Lark Book 1) Free Books

April, 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.


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  5. 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. Jack Lark, once the Scarlet Thief, has abandoned the rolling Virginian hills and is on the run with Rose, an escaped slave girl who is more than his match.

    Soon he will find his way into the uniform of the Confederate Army in an adventure that will culminate at the Battle of Shiloh - the bloodiest conflict in American history at its time. Jack Lark 7 books in series. The Scarlet Thief Publisher's Summary.