Friday Reads – You Can Run by Trevor Wood

Welcome to another Friday Reads blog. My guest today is thriller author Trevor Wood, who is going to talk to us about his latest novel, You Can Run. So grab a cuppa, get comfy and let’s find out a bit more about the book and get chatting to Trevor


It wasn’t her dad they were after.

It was her.

Ruby Winter is surprised when her reclusive father invites a stranger into their house. She eavesdrops on their conversation and is alarmed when she hears a fight break out. She dashes into the kitchen to save her dad but the stranger’s the one lying on the floor in a pool of blood.
Her dad urges her to pack a bag. They must quit their Northumbrian cottage and run. There isn’t time to explain why.  But as they try to flee her dad is captured.

The only people who can help her are the villagers she has shunned her whole life. But, desperate to find her father and to work out who took him and why, she must seek their help.

But what if learning the truth means discovering the life she once knew was a lie?

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Read an extract

Something very strange is going on.

Margaret lets the curtain drop and pats the white Bedlington Terrier on her lap as she tries to remember the sequence of events.

First there’d been the man in the phone box. A stranger. Dressed a bit like a soldier but no soldier would have a haircut like that. Nigel had never shut up about standards dropping since his day but she doubts they’ve dropped that far.

She’d seen the man earlier that morning, just standing on the corner looking up the street. Hadn’t thought much about it at first but when he was still there ten minutes later she’d started to take an interest. He seemed to be talking to himself but then he took something from his belt and she’d realised it was a radio transmitter of some kind. She’d watched as he’d finished the conversation, put the radio away and walked down to the phone box. Why would he need a phone when he had a walkie-talkie? She was so curious that she’d made a note of it on the pad she kept by the window. He was only in there a few moments and didn’t make a call. She’d found her binoculars by then and would have seen the receiver by his ear if he had.

Then he’d stepped out of the booth, thrown something over a wall, and walked back up the street, past the spot he’d been standing in and straight up to No. 8, where that quiet man, Alex, lived with his equally-reclusive daughter whose name Margaret could never remember. Judy maybe? She’d been surprised when Alex opened the door, she knew from experience that he normally ignored callers – she’d taken in enough of his parcels in the past. After a brief conversation the visitor had stepped inside and the door had closed.

That had been about fifteen minutes ago. Margaret had assumed the excitement was over so she’d gone and made herself a nice cup of tea which is still sitting in front of her. It’s going cold but she takes a sip anyway, not wanting to miss anything now the girl – Ruby, that was it – is out and about. Margaret doubts that phone box has seen any use in at least a couple of years – and she would know – but now twice in one morning. That’s no coincidence – and the girl doesn’t seem to be making a call either. And why would she need a phone box – all the young ‘uns had their own phones these days, didn’t they?

‘There’s definitely a rabbit off here, Boris,’ she tells the dog.

Margaret looks up again as the girl steps out of the box, looking puzzled and more than a little distressed, glancing every which way as if she doesn’t have a clue where to go next. The only place she doesn’t seem to look is behind her which is ironic, Margaret thinks, because that’s where the problem is.

It sounds intriguing doesn’t it? If you fancy reading it you can get a copy here:


Welcome to my blog, Trevor. Your book sounds fantastic and I love the tagline ‘It takes a village to save a child’. Can you tell us what inspired you to write it?

Hi, Karen. Delighted to be here. One of the best things about being a writer is that you can put the world to rights. Out in the real world we watch, practically helpless, as those in power get away with murder, quite literally in some cases. They wring their hands, disclaim responsibility and cast the blame on others. Or when caught bang to rights they thrust their families in front of the cameras, claim there’s been a terrible misunderstanding and carry on regardless. A systemic abuse of power with impunity seems to have infected the higher echelons of society across the world and there appears to be little we can do about it. Time and again in recent years we’ve seen senior politicians and advisers (Hi Dominic) doing whatever they like without consequences. Not in my book. In my book there will be payback; the underdogs can fight back and they can win. And I can even throw in a yappy, white-haired dog that no one likes and call him (drumroll)…. Boris.

In You Can Run, when the reclusive young heroine Ruby is being hunted by some strangers for reasons she can’t even begin to understand she has to seek the help of the villagers she has previously avoided like the plague including the neighbourhood busybody, a disreputable poacher, the village drunk and the local school’s troublemaker. It’s been described as ‘the Thursday Murder Club meets Deliverance.’

In some ways it’s a continuation from my previous books which also saw the underdogs coming out on top against the odds. The Jimmy Mullen trilogy, which began with the CWA New Blood Dagger winner The Man on the Street, was firmly set in Newcastle’s homeless community. The homeless are regularly demonised and I wanted to humanise them by examining the myriad ways people can end up living on the streets despite their obvious capabilities, in the context of a crime novel. When Jimmy and his friends are confronted with issues that society is failing to deal with or crimes against them that the police can’t or won’t deal with they take matters into their own hands and solve their own problems, sometimes ingeniously. Not for nothing was Jimmy nicknamed ‘Sherlock Homeless.’

There’s another link with my previous books in You Can Run. Coldburn, the village where Ruby lives, is practically empty outside of holidays and weekends, the result of the proliferation of second homes. A few years back I was playing cricket in Bamburgh, right in front of the town’s magnificent castle. To my surprise, the captain of the Bamburgh team told me we probably wouldn’t be able to play them again as it was almost impossible for him to raise a team as no one lived there any more. Since then I’ve heard similar tales about another Northumberland town, Beadnell, and much further afield, the welsh village of Abersoch where the bank, the post office, the doctor’s surgery and even the primary school have had to close due to the lack of permanent residents. It’s a nationwide problem which affects many tourist destinations, including towns and villages in Cornwall and I’m not a fan. I must be the only crime writer around whose books bang on about the housing situation!

It’s good to use books as a ‘voice’ to speak up against injustices like this Trevor. Thanks for talking to us today. I hope your book flies!

Meet Trevor

Author bio

Trevor Wood has lived in Newcastle for 30 years and considers himself an adopted Geordie, though he still can’t speak the language.

His first novel The Man on the Street, which is set in his home city and features a homeless protagonist won the Crime Writers’ Association’s John Creasey New Blood Dagger for best debut and the Crimefest Specsavers Debut Novel of the Year. It was also shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and has been optioned for television by World Productions, the makers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard. It was followed by the highly-acclaimed sequel, One Way Street and the final book in the trilogy, Dead End Street was released in 2022.  His fourth book, You Can Run, a standalone thriller set in a remote Northumberland village is released in March 2023.

Trevor is one of the founder members of the Northern Crime Syndicate and is a volunteer chef at the People’s Kitchen in Newcastle, a charity that provides hot meals for around 200 hundred people every day.


Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
Amazon Author Page:

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