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The Crack Magazine

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You Can Run by Trevor Wood

Since publishing ‘The Man on the Street’ back in 2020, local author Trevor Wood has lit up the thriller scene. That book went on to nab the coveted CWA New Blood Dagger, as well as the CrimeFest Specsavers Debut Novel of the Year gong. It was also shortlisted for the prestigious Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year Award. Two equally well-received sequels followed, but his latest book sees him conjuring up a whole new cast of colourful characters. The setting this time is Coldburn, an out of the way Northumbrian village. It’s here that 15-year-old Ruby Winter lives alone with her dad. But when a man dressed in combat gear enters their house, and there is a violent confrontation, everything Ruby knows about herself, including her actual identity, is thrown into the air. She flees the house, but soon the village is swarming with more men clad in combat attire, and they all seem to have one goal: to track Ruby down. ‘You Can Run’ begins in fifth gear and pretty much stays there, as Ruby sets about gathering an unlikely rag, tag and bobtail team that she hopes will help her discover what the hell is going on. These include the village’s sharp-tongued curtain-twitcher, the poacher with a past, the misfit school friend, and the alcoholic owner of the local garage. The odds seem pretty insurmountable, but, as one of the villagers tells Ruby: “We’re Northumbrians, pet … We’ve been fighting off invaders since the dawn of time. It’s in our blood.” Wood’s punchy prose is perfect for such an enticing set-up, and he’s a past master at keeping those cliff-hangers (and revelations) coming.

Robert Meddes