‘You Can Run’ by Trevor Wood

Author : Trevor Wood
Title : You Can Run
Pages : 400
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : March 16, 2023
Source : Netgalley ARC


Ruby Winter is surprised when her reclusive father invites a strange soldier into their house. Intrigued, she tries to eavesdrop on their conversation, but is alarmed when she hears a fight break out. She dashes into the kitchen to save her dad, but he’s not the one in trouble.

The soldier has been stabbed and is bleeding out on the floor. Refusing her pleas to call an ambulance, her dad urges her to pack a bag – they have to run. As they try to escape,her dad is shot and Ruby is chased by one of the soldier’s comrades but is hidden by Lucas, a village lad she has ignored up till now.

Ruby and Lucas see a military-style ambulance whisk her dad away. She is desperate to find him but the village is quickly under siege. The roads in have been blocked and soldiers are patrolling the streets, urging everyone to stay indoors for their own safety.

Ruby must work out who took her father and why. But what if learning the truth means discovering the life she once knew was a lie?


Ruby Winter, a sixteen year old girl, has been living the quiet life with her dad, Alex, in the sleepy village of Coldburn in Northumberland. Alex is somewhat of a recluse, and the Winter family very much keeps to themselves. But one knock on the door will change all of that, and Ruby will be forced to rely on the help of villagers she’s never even met to stay safe.

Ruby is very much supposed to be the main character of the story, although some of the village residents get to have their own point-of-view as well. It turns out Ruby is massively important to someone, and anything goes in getting her back. So much so that a para-military group of some sort has no qualms in closing the village off and telling the residents to stay in their houses. Needless to say, this doesn’t go down well. These villagers do not take kindly to outsiders, or intruders. This is a village that is slowly losing its way of life due to an abundance of second home buyers turning half the village into a AirBnb hotspot, and these people will not take any crap lying down.

And just like that, main character Ruby drops off into the secondary category. The villagers banding together to help her are infinitely more fun and interesting to hang out with, and they blow the character of Ruby right off the pages. There’s her schoolmate, Lucas, who turns out to be far more reliable than she expected. Although not in matters of cooking. There’s Danny, ex-millitary, who may be getting old but still knows what’s what. But the one who steals every scene she’s in is Margaret. Founder of the Neighbourhood Watch, she’s known as being extremely nosy, but she’s also smart as a whip and takes no crap from anyone. And boy, did she make me laugh!

Danger lurks around every corner, and yet I never felt the tension reached boiling point. ‘You Can Run‘ is definitely action-packed, although it lacked the thrill in thriller. There is never a dull moment though, and the pace is spot-on. However, I do admit that I was often left to think maybe the target audience was a tad (okay, a lot) younger than I am. While at times a little gritty, because it’s obviously an “us against them” kind of situation, some things just seemed that little bit too convenient, and a little too predictable. Maybe a bit too much neatly wrapped up in a bow.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘You Can Run‘ and raced right through it. It’s definitely an entertaining page-turner and an easy, quick read. I understand this is far different from Trevor Wood’s Jimmy Cullen series, but I’m dying to dive into that as well, and I look forward to whatever comes next from this author.

Amazon UK [will be published on March 16th]

My thanks to Quercus and Netgalley for the advanced review copy. All opinion are my own.

  2 comments for “‘You Can Run’ by Trevor Wood

  1. March 14, 2023 at 10:50 am

    Great review 💞

    Liked by 1 person

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