The True Soldier

Written by Paul Fraser Collard
Review by Mike Ashworth

April 1861. Jack Lark—soldier, leader, imposter—has arrived in Boston as civil war erupts across America. In the aftermath of a battle in northern Italy, Jack had made a rash promise to deliver letters from a dying man to his parents in Boston. Jack finds himself a Sergeant in the Union Army, preparing for the approaching conflict. The people of Boston are confident that the war will be ended in one decisive battle, but with his years of experience of war, Jack knows better. Fighting his instincts, Lark is forced to look at himself, and what he is fighting for.

Leading up to and including the Battle of Bull Run, the story evokes the time, attitudes and culture of a nation unknowingly about to tear itself apart. With a tight plot, strong characters, and descriptions of battle which bring alive the brutal reality of warfare, without being gratuitous, this is an action-packed adventure guaranteed to get the pulse racing. The latest in a series this can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone, as there is sufficient back story to fill out Lark’s background. I look forward to the next instalment. Recommended.