FRUSTRATED with the lack of novels set in the north west, Warrington author Rob Parker has created a gripping new crime thriller set in his home town.

The 37-year-old's latest book, Far From the Tree, was released on Audible today, Thursday, performed by fellow Warringtonian, Warren Brown.

It tells the story of DI Foley, who finds 27 bodies in a mass grave in a Warrington woodland - the Warrington 27.

"I have always been really fascinated with the geography of Warrington, between Manchester and Liverpool," Rob explained.

"I find it amazing that it is a mash of identities in the middle and somehow, we have bred our own identities out of that.

"You have got this 30-mile patch in-between two cities.

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"It was a struggle growing up here, you don't hear of any authors from Warrington and I didn't think that someone like me could be an author."

Rob, who lives in Houghton Green, has been writing all his life, but didn't fully pursue his dream until he had to take time off work due to a football injury.

He recalled: "I was 29 and I was thinking 'what am I going to do with my life now?'

"Then I fell into reading again, and started pulling out my old stories and before I knew it, I was writing.

"I wrote a book in six to eight weeks and self-published it on Kindle.

"There was a lot of mistakes in it but people said there was something to it they liked.

"So I wrote another one after that, and in that first year I had written three books and a bunch of short stories.

Warrington Guardian:

"I decided to look into how to get books on shelves and properly published.

"The rejection was huge and for some people that would have been enough, but it makes you strong."

After finally getting picked up by an agency, Rob had success with his Ben Bracken thriller series, but always knew he wanted to pay homage to Warrington with an ambitious new project.

"The idea was there for two to three years and then I got my head down and did it - it took eight months," Rob said.

"I was really conscious of making a career move.

"I really wanted it to be the best and boldest thing I have done."

Far From the Tree is set in the heart of Warrington, with references to familiar landmarks in the town.

It follows Brendan Foley and Iona Madison as they attempt to uncover the mysterious murders of 27 people.

When the story was picked up by Audible, Rob knew there was only one man for job - Warrington-born actor, Warren Brown, who has starred in Shameless and Hollyoaks.

Warrington Guardian: Warren Brown

Warren Brown

"I really wanted it to be him because he gets it, he gets Warrington because he's from here, he's one of us," Rob said.

"Then Audible went and got him, and I just couldn't believe it.

"He called me out of the blue a few weeks ago and we were talking on the phone for about an hour about the characters.

"Listening to what he has done, it's not like someone just doing a reading, it's a full-on performance."

Far From the Tree is available to purchase and listen on Audible at