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Far from the Tree

Thirty Miles Trilogy, Book 1
Narrated by: Warren Brown
Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (225 ratings)

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Audible's Crime & Thriller Pick of the Month: July 2020

Love nothing more than being engrossed in a creepy thriller or playing detective with a gripping mystery? You're not alone! Always ready for a challenge, the Audible editors have taken on the tough task of seeking out spine-chilling tales that will keep you up all night. Every month we’ll bring you the very best in murder and mystery in Audible's Crime & Thriller Pick of the Month.
Rob Parker

About the author

Rob Parker is a married father of three, who lives in Warrington, UK. The author of the Ben Bracken thrillers and Crook’s Hollow, he enjoys a rural life on an old pig farm (now minus pigs), 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, story-telling 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.

Warren Brown

About the performer

Warren Brown is an illustrious actor, voiceover artist and former 2 x World Thai Boxing Champion. Following his performance in the BAFTA-winning, three-part event Occupation, appearing opposite Stephen Graham, Warren went on to star alongside Idris Elba as DS Ripley, the role for which he became most well-known, in the BBC's multi award-winning series Luther.

Warren can be seen as 'Sergeant Thomas 'Mac' McAllister' in the highly anticipated reboot of the Emmy-nominated action series, Strike Back, for Sky/HBO Cinemax. Other television credits include Doctor Who, Liar, X Company and RTS Best Drama winning, Good Cop. Film credits include Cargo, Captain Webb and The Dark Knight Rises. Audio drama for Big Finish include multiple series of Doctor Who, U.N.I.T. and the stand alone Audible series Transference.

Summary

Brendan Foley has worked to balance the responsibilities of a demanding job and a troublesome family. He’s managed to keep these two worlds separate, until the discovery of a mass grave sends them into a headlong collision. When one of the dead turns out to be a familiar face, he’s taken off the case. 

Iona Madison keeps everything under control. She works hard as a detective sergeant and trains harder as a boxer. But when her superior, DI Foley, is removed from the case, her certainties are tested like never before. 

With stories of the Warrington 27 plastered over the news, they set out to solve the crime before anyone else. The local constabulary is small and under-funded – Brendan knows they can’t crack this case alone, and he’s not letting a rival force take over. Not with the secrets he fears are lurking. Their investigations lead them into the murky underworlds of Manchester and Liverpool, where one more murder means little to drug-dealing gangs, desperate to control their power bases. 

But as Madison steps into the ring for the fight of her life, the criminals come to them. It’s no coincidence that the corpses have been buried in Foley’s hometown. The question is, why? Foley might not like the answer.... 

Introducing a gripping new crime thriller, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Ian Rankin and Line of Duty.

©2020 Rob Parker (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"An immersive and intricately plotted thriller that had me gripped from the first [minute] to the pulse-racing finale." (Roz Watkins)

"...A big departure from Rob’s previous work, I hope he won’t mind when I say it exceeds his already sky high standards. A dark, powerful & utterly compelling tale of Northern gangsters tied together by blood, it just drips with real life." (Tony Kent)

"Rob Parker doesn’t mess around. Far from the Tree is a gritty, propulsive [listen]. Drawn in shades of grey, DI Brendan Foley is a complex, morally ambiguous character I couldn’t stop rooting for. A punchy, powerful tale well told." (Adam Hamdy)

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What listeners say about Far from the Tree

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Outstanding!

I am a big fan of Rob Parker's work, and have absolutely inhaled his Ben Bracken series. I highly recommend the Ben Bracken books if you love a big, bold action thriller - Bracken is uncompromising in his ways, but has a strict moral code at heart, and this makes him just the kind of hero you can attach yourself to. They are corkers! So I was chomping at the bit to get into Rob's new series, especially since it is set in his own backyard of Warrington.

Far From The Tree, the first in a new crime trilogy from Rob, offers a wonderfully gritty Northern Noir police procedural story, with a very different kind of hero from Mr Bracken. This time, our protagonist is Detective Inspector Brendan Foley - a man who has spent his whole life in Warrington, slap bang in-between Manchester and Liverpool, and whose roots go deep into the local area. He is a dedicated police officer, but Foley is not your normal run of the mill copper, because he has a few skeletons he would rather like to keep hidden in relation to his family background - ones that are straining to burst out into the open as the horrifying case of the Warrington Twenty-seven gets underway....

The investigation is destined to derail Foley, as it becomes very personal indeed, and there are plenty of delicious wtf moments throughout that hit you like the proverbial truck, as the chilling truth becomes clear...but no spoilers, now! I will say that this takes you to some dark places, and sets everything up beautifully for book two, which I am now eagerly awaiting. There is also the most delectable of little titbits in this tale that will have fans of the Ben Bracken books grinning - know I did.

This story is full of everything you want from a slick police procedural and crime caper. It is so evocative of 70s and early 80s crime strories, but with a clever modern twist - think The Long Good Friday and the wonderful Fox with Peter Vaughan (should you be old enough to remember this), all tied up with a big Line of Duty ribbon (in blood red, of course). There are good guys, bad guys and those who cross both sides of the line - of both the male and female variety - which give this very wide appeal. I particularly enjoyed smart, gutsy DS Iona Madison, who Rob uses to share his love of boxing with the reader.

Unusually, this new trilogy is being released in audio format, by Audible Originals, before coming out in print and I found this rather enjoyable. The audio book is narrated by Warren Brown (of Luther fame) with aplomb and the perfect intonation for a story of this kind. The pacing and suspense are nigh on perfect, and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat - and periodically falling off at the big hitting moments. I always know I am onto a winning audio book when I find myself stopping what I am doing and just listening, and I confess that much of the housework was neglected while was listening to this one (good one, Rob!).

I think it's fair to say that this is the kind of book Rob Parker was born to write. I have seen Rob blossom as a writer with each successive book, as he matures and gets to grip with his craft, and he uses every bit of his considerable skill here - weaving multiple threads and complex characters to great effect, and completely drawing you in to the world he has created. This is outstanding work and I absolutely loved it!

And can I just say, as a connoisseur of a clever book title that Far From The Tree is a stroke of genius!

3 people found this helpful

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brilliant listening

I don't usually comment but I really enjoyed this book hope there's more to come

3 people found this helpful

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Great plot, great narration

A very descriptive book, well written and I finished it within a day of downloading it.
Clever characters And subtle twists along the way which make for a great read.

Loved the narration, would definitely recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Gritty, well paced and full of twists. A dark and thoroughly entertaining cop thriller.

2 people found this helpful

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Fast paced and thrilling

I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this book. I ended up listening to it in two sittings, I couldn't stop listening! It was fast paced and thrilling at every turn. Such a lot going on but so descriptive that it never once got my mind foggy. I would highly recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable

Great book, well written and consistent throughout, no dull moments whatsoever. The narrator was excellent and effortlessly brought the characters to life. I'm pretty fussy and normally go for Jo Nesbo or Michael Connolly but this was a change and well worth the listen. It was like Prime Suspect meets Eastenders, but the very best of both and well researched. I'll look out for more by this writer and narrator. Very entertaining.

1 person found this helpful

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awful

Absolutely ridiculous plot line, poor writing. Just awful. I should have given up after the first half hour.

1 person found this helpful

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Pure perfection

‘Far From the Tree‘ is an Audible Original, narrated by Warren Brown who is absolutely perfect for this fast-paced, twisty police procedural set in Warrington.

Setting ‘Far From the Tree‘ in his hometown of Warrington, Rob Parker has captured an oft-forgotten town in between Liverpool and Manchester perfectly, using Warrington’s piggy-in-the-middle characteristics to create tension.

By using references to familiar landmarks, Parker transports the audience to a new location – full of dirty deeds and complex family relationships.

I loved the nuances in the relationships between characters. From the beginning, where Foley is called away from his son’s christening to attend the gruesome crime scene, Parker sets up a complex family whose divided loyalties will cause all manner of upsets throughout the story.

Parker’s descriptions left me with vivid mental images – he has a real knack for creating atmosphere through his choice of language. Listening to this story was honestly like watching a move in my mind.

With Warrington-born Warren Brown on board to narrate, Audible have scored an absolute screamer – the compelling story coupled with an actor who has the same accent as the characters is a total winner.

I’m already looking forward to the next (audio) book from Rob Parker.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant!

Performance and narration fantastic and very authentic norther west accents. Brilliantly performed.
Great story and likeable characters
I was so disappointed when I finished to be leaving them
Hope for a series

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Exhilarating from start to finish.

I throughly enjoyed this book, it seems to have a relentless pace start to finish and it never lost my interest.
Great exposition to the characters which made the hole thing so imersive. You don't hear many crime stories in the North and its a great refreshing change to the normal. Very British and the praformer was excellent too.
Looking forward to more.

1 person found this helpful