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Mari Hannah's DCI Kate Daniels series offers a glimpse of the darker side of life in and around Newcastle, England – the same area in which Ann Cleeves' wildly popular DI Vera Stanhope operates. Her detective, however, is a very different sort of woman.
For one thing, she's a lesbian who lives in fear of her personal life causing problems in her professional life (at least in the early books – we haven't made it all the way through the series to see if she becomes more open in later novels). She's also a fair bit younger and less prickly. Outside of that, she's a pretty standard issue detective – not as unique and memorable as a Vera or Inspector Morse, but competent and likable enough to follow along.
The stories are informed by Hannah's real-life past as a probation officer. Her career was cut short by an on-the-job injury, after which she went into film and TV writing.
It's worth mentioning that the DCI Kate Daniels series has been optioned for television – though we've yet to hear any updates on it for a while (and an option doesn't necessarily mean production). If there's progress on that front, we'll be sure to update.
All of Mari Hannah's DCI Kate Daniels Books in Order
Below, we've gathered up all the DCI Kate Daniels novels in order, then added brief descriptions so it's easier to figure out where you left off (in case it's been a while).
DCI Kate Daniels Book 1 | The Murder Wall
In the first Kate Daniels book, we meet a woman haunted by her failure to solve a recent double homicide in a nearby village. When she gets the opportunity to head up a new murder case, she's eager to take on the responsibility and prove herself.
Unfortunately, Daniels quickly realises she knows the victim – but because she's so keen to prove her abilities, she decides not to disclose the personal connection. As more victims pile up and Daniels struggles to find the connection, the killer is watching her.
DCI Kate Daniels BOOK 2 | Settled Blood
In Settled Blood, detective Kate Daniels is struggling to figure out the death of an unidentified young girl when a strikingly similar young girl goes missing. Logic says the two cases must be connected.
Soon after, a local businessman reports his daughter missing, describing the dead girl perfectly. Is this the girl's father? Or could the killer be playing with them? While Daniels tries to figure it out, the clock ticks for the newly-missing young girl.
DCI Kate Daniels BOOK 3 | Deadly Deceit
When a driver skids out of control on a wet stretch of motorway, detective Kate Daniels and her partner Hank Gormley arrive quickly to find one of the worst automobile accidents in Northumberland's history. As they begin to investigate the wreckage, they realise not all the deaths appear to have been accidental.
Across town, a house is burning, killing two of its inhabitants. The only thing the incidents appear to have in common is timing, but Kate and her partner will soon begin to uncover connections. Could both of these incidents be the work of the same twisted killer?
DCI Kate Daniels BOOK 4 | Fatal Games
This entry in the series pulls detective Kate Daniels away from her usual Newcastle headquarters and over to the nearby Northumberland coast. Amidst the rocky shoreline and punishing weather, she'll investigate a body that's been found by an ancient castle.
At the same time, newly widowed prison psychologist Emily McCann is being drawn into the dark world of convicted sex offender Walter Fearon. As his release date draws near, there are clues he might have something to do with the body at the castle – and Emily begins to wonder what Fearon has in store for her.
DCI Kate Daniels BOOK 5 | Killing for Keeps
Within a matter of hours, two brothers from the same crime family die – one near an industrial estate, the other in a busy emergency room. Who wanted them dead? Who was brazen enough to risk the family's wrath? Will they kill again?
As bodies begin to pile up, it will prove to be the worst torture case Northumberland has ever seen. Will Kate Daniels be able to stop the dangerous offender?
DCI Kate Daniels BOOK 6 | Gallows Drop
Early one morning on a lonely stretch of road, a body is found hanging from an ancient gallows. DCI Kate Daniels had seen the victim alive just a few hours earlier, and since her leave time is coming up, she's pushed aside so DCI James Atkins can handle the case.
Kate soon learns that Atkins has a personal connection to the incident. His daughter had witnessed a fight involving the victim, so he's bumped off the case. Shortly after, Kate is viciously attacked, exposing a secret she's successfully hidden for years.
She steadies herself and carries on, diving into the close-knit community to find out what secrets lay behind closed doors – and who might have wanted the victim dead.
DCI Kate Daniels BOOK 7 | Without a Trace
When a London to New York flight disappears, the news dominates every channel. Sadly, the plane was carrying the love of DCI Kate Daniels' life – and the case she'd very much love to investigate is outside her jurisdiction.
Despite being told to walk away, she can't let it go. She's prepared to do whatever it takes to get to the truth.
DCI Kate Daniels BOOK 8 | Her Last Request
When a murder victim leaves a note for the investigators who will find her, DCI Kate Daniels is startled. It contains just one last request: “Find Aaron”. What she doesn't say is whether Aaron is a potential second victim – or the killer.
Using every clue she can find, Kate desperately searches for Aaron. Assuming he's innocent, can she get to him before the killer does?
WILL THERE BE MORE DCI Kate Daniels NOVELS IN THE FUTURE?
Given that there's been no specific statement about the series ending, and the most recent book was published in late 2021, it seems likely there will be more DCI Kate Daniels novels to look forward to in the future. When we know more, we'll be sure to update the list accordingly.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE DCI Kate Daniels NOVEL?
Have you read all the DCI Kate Daniels books in order? Which was your favourite? What do you like about the series? For us, we love the Northumberland setting and non-traditional detective. It's great to see so many new books out there with detectives who aren't all middle-aged, troubled alcoholic men (not that some of those aren't great). Let us know what you think!
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