The Lost Outlaw (Jack Lark, Book 8)

Written by Paul Fraser Collard
Review by Mike Ashworth

Louisiana, 1863. Jack Lark has fought on both sides of the Civil War. Sickened by what he sees as the futile and pointless slaughter on both sides, Jack has travelled across the Southern states in a lazy, mindless torpor. However, his money is running out and he must find work. He signs up as part of a heavily armed wagon train, taking cotton down to the Mexican border, before bringing guns and ammunition back. It is a dangerous trek, as both cargoes are magnets for the South’s most infamous outlaws. Jack soon finds that the normal rules of war do not apply – honour and mercy are seen as anachronistic, with no place in the modern world.

This is the eighth action-packed novel featuring Jack Lark – soldier, leader, imposter. The many fans of Paul Collard will know what to expect. The plot is tight and totally believable. The characters are strong. Jack Lark’s will to survive and the cumulative effects of years of warfare are effectively portrayed as he struggles in a world of treachery and callous indifference to life. The novel can be read as a stand-alone. If you are looking for nonstop high-octane adventure with lots of pulsating action, this is for you.  Strap on a navy Colt, mount up – and enjoy. Recommended.