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The Scarlet Thief Audio Download – Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 18 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Headline Digital
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 9 May 2013
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CPGQV32
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 an 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a great start to a new series, long may it continue. I knew very little about the war in Crimea with all it's despair & ugliness,a forerunner to the WW1 waste of human life if only those in power had the sense to realise it. It does bring home to the reader how brave the ordinary officers & men of the British Army were despite the very poor leadership & appalling conditions they had to endure. Perhaps a lesson to all. The characters were well thought out with Jack Lark being particularly appealing as a great opportunist who could make full use of the situations that arose. Well done that man & may he long prosper if only the benefit himself & show a thumb to the establishment of the period. His exploits kept me interested right to the very end & I look forward with great anticipation to his further adventures.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I had originally read 'Jack Lark-Rogue' which told the story of Jack before he enlisted to the army. I enjoyed how the story was told, so looked up the author. It might be an idea to read Rogue first for his story, but this is his second book which I would recommend as well, as it did have its graphic parts, but the story was so good you will not put it down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Redcoats.

The world sends a strange thrill through you, doesn't it? Especially if you're English, I suppose. Makes you want to start singing 'Rule Britannia'. And the redcoat era of the British army covers some pretty momentous times. The Jacobite rebellion in the 1740s? The war of American Independence in the 1770s? The Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century? The Raj? The Zulu wars? And then there was the Crimean. Funny thing is that few people if you ask them in the street will be able to tell you much about that war. They might remember that Florence Nightingale served in Scutari. They might know names like Raglan, Lucan and Balaclava? Few will know anything and it's possible that it would hardly be remembered at all but for Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade. It's an odd period for most of us as it's still carrying the feel of the Napoleonic era but the army more resembles the defenders of Rorke's Drift.

Not for me. Strange, really, but I reckon the number of people who will even have heard of the battle of the Alma before reading this book will be surprisingly small. And yet as a kid our family often went to a pub by the river that was called The Alma and it had a profound effect on me. You see every pub sign seems to be a coloured animal or some craftsman. The pub sign at the Alma showed redcoats crossing the river in the face of the Russian hordes. It was a stirring thing to see on regular occasions and it coloured my image of the Crimea from a young age.

On to the tale. This debut offering from Paul Fraser Collard is the first tome in the Jack Lark series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The fact that it is very difficult to review this book without drawing several comparisons to Bernard Cornwell and, in particular, the Sharpe novels says a great deal for a first time author; there are lots of others who would love to be in such exalted company. The basic premise of this story, a simple private stealing the identity of a rich captain in the British army of the mid nineteenth century, is interesting and holds the plot together well and the comparison, of course, is that Sharpe rises through the ranks legitimately. The two characters (Sharpe and Jack Lark) are, in other respects, very similar, both being 'rough' lads from urban areas. And that's where my two grumbles about The Scarlet Thief emerge.

Firstly, Sharpe cannot hide his true character and that is a source of friction with his fellow officers and I find that utterly believable. Jack Lark, however, seems to have little difficulty in carrying off his charade and it requires a bit of suspension of belief to accept that all of the officers are quite so stupid.

My second, and more glaring, grumble about the character is that he is a rough and tough 'Jack the lad', grown up on the hard streets of London and steeped in violence. Yet, when persecuted by a much stronger and brutal soldier, to the point where Sergeant Slater is bent on murdering our hero, Jack Lark apparently never even considers just killing his oppressor. When Lark has Slater at his mercy, in the chaos of battle and after only just surviving one of Slater's attacks, he states that he just can't murder a fellow soldier. Really?
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