The Lone Warrior by Paul Fraser Collard


Even as a civilian Jack Lark finds himself enmeshed in mayhem.  Caught up in a large scale mutiny by native contingents of the British Army in the city of Delhi, Jack is thrust once more into the gaping maw of bloody warfare.  As in the other books in this enthralling series, the author doesn’t stint when it comes to the brutality on a battlefield, nor in Jack’s battle lust inspired prowess at killing.  The author also continues to refine Jack’s character to a point where the reader can really begin to feel the anguish he suffers; the joy of having someone to live for and the pain that results from it, the conflicting emotional results of his place in the army.  Does he belong there?  Does he belong anywhere?  Many were the times I had to put the book down (okay, close my Kindle), and take a breath.  This series started out great; it has only gotten better. I, for one, can’t wait to read the next one.  5 stars


The Devil’s Assassin by Paul Fraser Collard


I’ve read some books that are slow out of the gate but build momentum as the pages turn…this is not one of those…this one starts fast and never lets up.  The action is relentless, whether it’s Jack one on one (or 2 or 3) with an adversary or whether it’s a full blown battle scene, the author keeps you riveted.  Now, that’s not to say that this the only reason for reading this book…not at all.  Mr. Collard incorporates some nifty plot twists and surprises to keep the reader guessing.  Briefly, Jack, through circumstances I won’t divulge for spoiler reasons becomes seconded to an army spymaster affectionately known as The Devil.  There is a spy or spies in the camp of the British force in their conflict with Persia and it is Jack’s job to ferret the spy or spies out before a major battle.  I thought I had it figured out, indeed I did have it figured out…oh but wait; no I didn’t…that’s what I loved about this book, the way the author plays out the final scenario.  In addition we get a further glimpse into what makes Jack tick and I suspect that will continue as the series progresses.  Kudos to the author for another sterling effort.  5 stars

The Maharajah’s General by Paul Fraser Collard


Jack is back.  He survived the Alma River battle on The Crimean Peninsula and being the enterprising and resourceful person he is, assumes the name and rank of an unfortunate Captain who perished before reaching his post in India.  The British colonization of India is not a subject I have read much of, in fact my knowledge of the period can be attributed to Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Rudyard Kipling in the movie The Man Who Would be King, so it was with eager anticipation that I read the second volume of this splendid series; not only because of the location but I wanted to find out how our hero fared in his new disguise.  He emerged from book one knowing that he could indeed lead men in battle and that he is an accomplished killer, both attributes are put to good use in The Maharajah’s General.  Mr. Collard has written a tale that is an easy flowing, riveting one that is hard to put down once you pick it up.  The character of Jack Lark continues to develop into one of my favorite historical-fiction protagonists, one who becomes more sure of himself as he continues the path of deception he has chosen, though it does play a little havoc on any long term relationships.  🙂  5 stars with a Hoover Book Review admonition – read this series, I for one will be continuing with it in book 3, The Devil’s Assassin.