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Judi Daykin Books In Order

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Publication Order of DS Sara Hist Books

Under Violent Skies (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Into Deadly Storms (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Wayland Babes (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Judi Daykin

Judi Daykin is a mystery author best known for her debut novel, Under Violent Skies. Born in Yorkshire, Daykin spent forty years working and making theatre in Norfolk. She holds a University of East Anglia MA in Creative Writing, and her debut novel was listed among the EAU’s Little Brown prize. When she is not writing, Daykin is busy running her theatre company named Broad Horizons. She is also an actress who enjoys retelling women’s stories and taking part in plays. Daykin has a deep love for her home village in Norfolk, which explains why the landscape features prominently in her series. She says that the watery landscapes and vast skies are simply magical.

Under Violent Skies

Under Violent Skies comes first in the DS Sara Hirst Series. Detective Sara has just moved from London to Norfolk’s Serious Crime Unit. The seasoned detective is not only looking to advance her career but also look for her father, who abandoned her when she was just two years old. While her mother was against the move, Sarah felt that she had to go through with it; otherwise, she would never uncover the truth. She is hoping that her father will answer some of the questions her mother wouldn’t answer about him. Why did he leave and never make an attempt to contact them? Would he even be happy to see her?

Sarah did not anticipate the cold treatment she gets at her new unit. First, her supervisors had not announced her arrival, so the people at the office are shocked to see her. One of them was also scheduled to take up her position, so there is some hostility from the start. There is also the issue of racism, and as a black woman in a predominantly white environment, Sarah is clearly outnumbered. However, she is one determined woman who will not let anyone stop her from achieving the goals she sets for herself. Fortunately, there is a lot to do and little time to idle and wallow about her troubles.

Sarah’s first case involves a murder on a local farm. A decomposing body is discovered inside a ditch, and Sarah is called to identify the body and solve the mystery behind the killing. Several thefts had been recorded in the area, so everyone suspects that this could be a robbery gone bad. The surprise comes when it is discovered that the dead man is a retired policeman. Sarah also suspects that this man is her father but chooses to keep her suspicions to herself. She knows that if she speaks up, her supervisor will take her off the case. What does Sarah uncover about the dead man? Who wanted him dead, and is there more to this story than normal robbery?

Under Violent Skies is a well-written debut novel with an intricate plot, well-developed characters, and a relentless pace. The author takes us through Sarah’s professional and personal life, highlighting the events that stand out. This tension-filled police procedural also introduces other characters that you will grow to love as you get deeper into the story. The ending is unexpected and will leave you looking for the next installment in the series. Curious to know if Sarah will find her father or solve her first case without her colleagues sabotaging it? Read this captivating story for this and more.

Into Deadly Storms

Into Deadly Storms comes second in the DS Sara Hirst series. This story opens with a half-naked body sprawled on the bathroom floor. The killer is panicking yet trying to justify his action. This cocky teenager started a fight with the wrong people. The middle-aged man has to move fast to clear the mess before it is too late. Clearly, the boy has stopped breathing, and all he has to do is dump the body before morning. Discarding the dead teenager in the ocean is too risky. However, there are woods nearby, and it is 10.30 pm, so no one will be around at this hour. If only it were easy to fit the body in his boot.

Detective Mike Bowen and Sarah are called to the scene the following morning. A man taking his dog for a walk comes across the body wrapped in a groundsheet and calls the police. The region is popular with drug users and male prostitutes, so the police know where to start looking. A quick investigation is launched, and the victim is identified as Callum Young, a 15-year-old student in Year Eleven at a local school. Callum lived in Lyndford Lodge care home before his death. He was also a known drug dealer selling cocaine and weed. Is there any link between the home, the drug business, and Callum’s death?

Sophie Bailey is an English teacher in Callum’s school. When he doesn’t come to school the following day, she goes looking for him in the care home. Here, she meets Matt Morgan, the dodgy housefather who is not ready to reveal Callum’s location. At some point, Sophie and Matt will be questioned by the police, and their secrets will become harder to conceal. Despite being a teacher, Sophie has a drug problem she had been dealing with since her college days. The investigation grows to include the MET, but the teenagers involved make it harder for the police to piece the entire case together. Will justice be served and the killer brought to book?

Into Deadly Storms is a captivating crime procedural that will keep you at the edge of your seat. At the heart of this tale is a dangerous conspiracy with many criminals involved. Sarah will have her hands full trying to connect the dots and establish what really led to Callum’s death. Fortunately, she has that beautiful cottage, gifted to her by her late father, to come home to. The author has done a phenomenal job of weaving this thrilling, unputdownable read and fleshing the characters enough to make the reader care for them. Common themes include drugs, manipulation, sexual assault, prostitution, and violence. While this book can be enjoyed as a standalone, reading from the first in the series will help maintain the flow.

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