Wayland Babes by Judi Daykin @HobeckBooks @norfolknovelist#NewRelease #BookReview

Wayland Babes by [Judi Daykin]


Thass bad. Somethin’ dreadful always happens when the chil’un be abroad.

The Wayland Woods in Norfolk – an ancient place where sound and silence, truth and myth, and life and death intertwine.

Some say that the babes of the woods still walk the Earth – wandering through the trees, forever lost, holding hands and searching for help. To see them is a terrible omen. As daylight falls, you may hear the wailing – is it the babes, or just the wind in the trees? What could it mean to see the babes, feel their presence, and be lured deeper into the woods? They look so real. They seem so helpless and desperate.

Five tales tell of five lives touched over five centuries by the so-called babes in the wood. If they beckon, will you follow?


Wayland Babes


Oh my goodness, talk about a scene setter! From the very first page, this book gave me tingles, and yes, I have read plenty of gruesome novels in the past, but this, this was such a hypnotic read.

The story spans five centuries, and the mystery tales that have been passed down through generations about two young children, like sirens of the sea, that coax unwary travellers to their demise in Wayland woods. The spine chilling feeling that made me jumpy was how the roles had reversed. It was how the children used their innocence on unsuspecting travellers that made me cold. The children, after all, had been around many more years than any of their victims.

There are five stories of people with different reasons why they have come to be in the woods. Each set on a different timeline and even with so many years between the mysterious deaths, the stories had been passed down through the generations so that travellers and locals should be aware of others who have not taken heed of the warnings.

The author is a conjurer of cautionary tales of the children and woods, not just visually but the sounds of whistling winds and rustling leaves. The pitying cries of children and the soothing voices of the ones captured in their spell. My favourite tale is the one of the priest. But do read these stories yourself, you will have one you like …………. and one you fear too.

I wish to thank the publisher and author for an e-copy of this book, which I have reviewed honestly.



Yorkshire born, Judi has lived, worked and made theatre in Norfolk for the last forty years. She completed her MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in 2019, and her debut novel was shortlisted for the Little, Brown UEA writers prize. That novel became Under Violent Skies, which was long-listed for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger in 2021.
Judi is a working actor with a portfolio career spanning twenty years of theatre, film and television; directing; workshops; audio narration and medical roleplay. She runs her own theatre company, Broad Horizons, specialising in commissioning new plays recovering and retelling women’s stories.
Delighted to be part of the Joffe Books team, Judi knows that DS Sara Hirst could not be in better hands. While her ghost stories are receiving the best possible treatment from Hobeck Books.

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