Far From the Tree by Rob Parker

Blog tour: 2 to 14 July 2021


Twenty-seven bodies, vacuum-packed, buried in a woodland trench – some have been there for years, some for just days.

DI Foley finds himself the Senior Investigating Officer on one of the largest murder cases the country has ever seen. This could make his career.

But as new discoveries unfold, this horrific gangland crime suddenly gets personal. Too personal.

Foley has a choice. Solve the crime and risk his family? Or leave well alone?

To a man like Brendan, that’s no choice at all …

My review

Far From the Tree is the first book in the Thirty Miles trilogy and was originally released in audio and became an Audible number one bestseller.

It’s Detective Inspector Brendan Foley’s son’s christening but he’s called away to a horrendous crime scene – 27 bodies, wrapped in plastic and in varying stages of decomposition, have been discovered in a large grave in Peel Hall forest park in Warrington. As the police and forensic team begin examining the bodies, DI Foley is horrified to discover that he recognises one of the victims.

Brendan is determined, for his family’s sake, to take charge of the investigation and find the killer and he manages to persuade Superintendent Monroe to let him stay on the case. At first, he seems to be doing a valiant job in trying circumstances but, when he’s involved in an embarrassing altercation at the police station, he’s told to take some compassionate leave and go home and look after his wife and sons.

As the team struggle to identify the victims and make a connection between them all, Brendan is carrying out his own investigations, with a little help from Detective Sergeant Iona Madison, and he realises that the key to the whole case may be a lot closer to home than he realised.

With Warrington being between Liverpool and Manchester, there are blurred lines amongst the local criminal gangs about whose patch it actually is and the police are baffled about who is responsible and why. Will they figure it out before things escalate and more people are killed?

This is a great book – engaging and action packed with lots of twists and turns and some shocking cliff hangers! I raced through it in a few days, frantically turning the pages and holding my breath at some particularly tense moments! It’s dark and disturbing, with some nasty characters and a few of the police officers weren’t very pleasant either! I’d definitely recommend Far From the Tree if you love police procedurals as much as I do!

I was fascinated by the setting of the Warrington police station, which was housed in the town’s old converted Victorian baths. I loved the descriptions of the different elements of the station, all based in and around the three former pools. It’s a shame this is all fiction as I’d love to see photos!

I liked the main protagonist, DI Brendan Foley, despite the fact he, understandably, became obsessed with the case and rather neglected his wife, Mim, 15-year-old son, Dan, and baby son, Mick. He also has a few secrets that he’s been desperately trying to keep under wraps for years, which added to the intrigue. DS Iona Madison is a fascinating character too and it’s great that she’s a tough amateur boxer and can handle herself!

Overall, I really enjoyed this cleverly plotted and gripping police procedural. It was entertaining and well paced and there were some startling revelations at various points throughout! There were vivid descriptions of cadavers and some nasty violent attacks on live victims, which also really added to the gruesomeness!

I recently read and enjoyed Blackstoke by the author and must check out his Ben Bracken series soon. I’m looking forward to the next book in the Thirty Miles trilogy and can’t wait to see how the characters develop and tackle their next investigation.

Buy the book

Far From the Tree by Rob Parker can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle and in hardback and paperback. Or purchase all formats directly from the Red Dog Press online shop.

About the author

Rob Parker is a married father of three, who lives in Warrington, UK. The author of the Ben Bracken thrillers, Crook’s Hollow and the #1 Audible bestseller, Far From the Tree, he enjoys a rural life, writing horrible things between school runs. Rob writes full time, attends various author events across the UK, and boxes regularly for charity.

He spends a lot of time in schools across the north, encouraging literacy, storytelling and creative writing, and somehow squeezes in time to co-host the For Your Reconsideration film podcast, appear regularly on The Blood Brothers Crime Podcast, and is a member of the Northern Crime Syndicate.

Twitter: @robparkerauthor
Facebook: @robparkerauthor
Instagram: @robparkerauthor
Website: https://robparkerauthor.com

Blog tour

Thanks to Meggy Roussel at Red Dog Press for my digital copy of Far From the Tree and for my place on the blog tour.

See the banner below for more stops on the #blogtour.


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