Paul Fraser Collard
(1973 – )
Paul’s love of military history started at an early age. A childhood spent watching films like Waterloo and Zulu whilst reading Sharpe, Flashman and the occasional Commando comic, gave him a desire to know more of the men who fought in the great wars of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. At school, Paul was determined to become an officer in the British army and he succeeded in wining an Army Scholarship. However, Paul chose to give up his boyhood ambition and instead went into the finance industry. Paul stills works in the City, and lives with his wife and three children in Kent.
As pot boy at his mother’s infamous London gin palace, Jack Lark is no stranger to trouble.
Between dog fights and street scuffles, if he’s not being set upon, he’s starting a brawl himself. But when an unlikely ally draws him from the dark alleys of the East End into the bright lights of a masked ball, he gets a glimpse of another life. That life, once seen, is impossible to forget.
Jack will do anything to outwit, outsmart and escape the cruelty in his own home. He is determined to get out, but what price will he be forced to pay for his freedom?
Short stories are always a tricky beast, how long should it be? is it a prequel? a side story and can you make a complete tale?
Rogue is 80 pages and that’s plenty for this tale, its a prequel, which for any fan or newbie to the Jack Lark story is great news, a chance to learn some of the background, the drivers for Jack, his personality and how he comes to blend so well with the officer class.
As ever the story is told with Paul Collards fast engaging pace, showing a rich vivid tapestry of the rookeries, Whitechapel London, the blend of poor society against the opulence of the privileged class.
I stayed up until midnight to start this short story (amazon wifi’d to my kindle at 00:01) and before my eyes gave out i have finished half the story, i woke up in the early hours with the kindle still in the covers. exhaustion was the only thing to stop this being a single sitting read. and for £1.99 its a bargain. In fact my only single gripe is why why why do we have to wait until June 2015 for part 2 *sob*
For those that have never read a Jack Lark book, please use this as an excuse to start, Paul Collard is a major new talent, who writes with a clear fast paced tight prose. His imagination and attention to historical detail clearly put him among the top in his field, Many have said his is the new sharpe, but that is a tired comparison now, used for too many authors. Suffices to say he has the skill and talent that Cornwell displayed, and that rocketed him to stardom.
I cannot wait for January 29th and Devils Assassin
1. The Scarlet Thief (2013)
2. The Maharajah’s General (2013)
3. The Devil’s Assassin (2015)