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A Dedicated Man (Inspector Banks Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – November 9, 1999
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New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author Peter Robinson delivers a compelling and chilling story of evil in the most unexpected places—perfect for fans of Jo Nesbo and Ian Rankin.
A dedicated man is dead in the wild outdoors—a former university professor, wealthy historian and archaeologist who loved his adopted village. It is a particularly heinous slaying, considering the esteem in which the victim, Harry Steadman, was held by his neighbors and colleagues—by everyone, it seems, except the one person who bludgeoned the life out of the respected scholar and left him half-buried in a farmer's field.
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks left the violence of London behind for what he hoped would be the peaceful life of a country policeman. But the brutality of Steadman's murder only reinforces one ugly, indisputable truth: Evil can flourish in even the most beautiful of settings. There are dangerous secrets hidden in the history of this remote community that have already led to one death. And Banks will have to plumb a dark and shocking local past to find his way to a killer before yesterday's sins cause more blood to be shed.
A Dedicated Man is a riveting, fascinating, and thoroughly thrilling novel of suspense.
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
- Publisher : Avon (November 9, 1999)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0380716453
- ISBN-13 : 978-0380716456
- Item Weight : 6.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.19 x 0.88 x 6.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,063,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Harry Steadman and his wife, Emma, had been coming to the town for years, first as visitors to a bed and breakfast before buying the property, which they had turned into their primary residence. The 16-year-old son of the bed and breakfast owners who used to tag along with his girlfriend on Harry’s local expeditions grew up to be Harry’s partner and publisher. Together they were working on a book about local history. Other locals knew Harry from his frequent lectures at the high school. Banks makes the rounds talking to anyone who knew Harry and concludes they were well hidden if Harry had any enemies.
Unbeknownst to Banks, a 16-year-old girl named Sally Lumb is also interested in solving Harry’s murder. Sally is convinced she is on the road to fame and fortune as an actress or model. She does have talent, especially in making herself look older through the skillful application of makeup. Sally wears makeup to get into bars in nearby towns with her boyfriend. Her parents disapprove of the boy, so she meets him on the sly. One of these meetings takes place in a shepherd’s hut on the night of Harry’s murder. Sally thinks she heard a car close by and noted the time she heard it. The following day Harry’s body was found near the hut. Thinking of all the attention she will get from her friends and the notoriety she will achieve if she bests Bank’s efforts in solving the crime, Sally ignorantly puts herself in the killer’s crosshairs.
Despite the well-crafted plot and complex characters, I found a point about midway through the book when the story started to drag. Harry doesn’t make for the most interesting murder victim because he didn’t seem to have any secrets, vices, or problems. Sally, the self-appointed sleuth, makes a far more interesting character, and the story picks up when she does her own investigating. The ending is satisfying, and the case is a challenging one to solve. The reader may find the conclusion to be a little bit of a data dump, as the case’s fine details are sewn up in an almost too tidy package. Most readers who like police procedurals and don’t mind a little bit of uneven pacing should enjoy this book. Although it’s second in the DCI Banks series, it can be read as a standalone book.
I liked the way the story was developed, the course of the investigation and the relationship between the characters. I have already downloaded my second P Robinson - I guess this means something :)
Like Penny and Sally, but we
knew surprisingly little aboutut the perpetrators. A slow moving story could be expected to yield more. I would read more of this author for the details of geography but would like some help with characters.
Top reviews from other countries
A Dedicated Man is the second book in the DCI Alan Banks series and I feel that it can be read as a standalone, although I prefer to read books in order of publication date, whether they are part of a series or not.
A Dedicated Man was written way back in 1988 but do not let that put you off! It has stood the test of time and I enjoyed reading about how DCI Alan Banks solved this crime. Strange going so back in time though as DCI Alan Banks drives a Ford Cortina - remember them? Peter Robinson does not go into detail over which of the 4 versions of the Cortina Alan drove but it did have a cassette tape player for music - remember them?
I liked the Britishness of this story and how Peter wrote about the details of our culture, for example…
He rhymed ‘scones’ with ‘on’, not, like a southerner, with ‘own’.
… A Dedicated Man shows how difficult it is for the police to solve a crime. The police are limited to the evidence found at the crime scene but if a murder was committed somewhere else to where the body was found, what chance have they got of solving the crime?
I enjoyed reading A Dedicated Man, it is written in the same comfortable British style as the first novel and with the private and professional lives of the police team. There was good character development and plenty of suspects to tease the reader. All leads and suspicions were explored and still it seemed that this murder would not be solved. Nothing pointed strongly to any character, anyone could have done this murder. Perhaps the murder was not done by anyone the victim knew but a stranger? I could not work out who committed this murder and was at a loss. Then when I read page 317 of 356, a comment made by one character gave me the answer to who committed the crime! However, when I got to the end of this book, my suspect was innocent! Whether Peter put this comment on page 317 as a deliberate piece of misdirection or I simply took it out of context, I will never know!
I enjoyed reading A Dedicated Man and consider it to be a GOOD 4 star read.
An old fashioned tale of old fashioned characters set in the dales of Yorkshire where one of the locals has been murdered and there appears to be many suspects but little evidence to convict anyone. Plenty of flowery overpowering descriptions throughout of the Yorkshire dales, villages and countryside such ‘the walls stood out like pearl necklaces on an emerald velvet cushion’. The book meanders on like the local streams and eventually a solution to the murder is happened upon when it was obvious it could only be one of four locals. A simple murder mystery if you would call it that.
Since then I have read latest Ann Cleeves with her 2 central protagonists whose TV characters do not live in communities populated by all who appear in her books. Those differences came to mind as I started to read A DEDICATED MAN and hit the first description of BANKS. A man just about tall enough to make required height. Not Stephen Tompkinson physique. Shades of Tom Cruise being Jack Reacher.
And that was my problem reading the first book, I think, in not being able to set aside the very urban TV series for Sgt Cluff-like rural Yorkshire. I have managed that with CLEEVES and once I ignored the comparison it was an enjoyable read.
Gradually as Banks and his team keep asking questions a complex web of relationships in uncovered which may have a lot more hidden tensions than it at first appears to have. What about a teenager who may know more than she thinks she does and is it wise for her to start investigating on her own?
This is a complex story with a well constructed plot and some excellent writing and likeable characters. The Yorkshire fell background is well realised too. This series is definitely growing on me. I like Banks himself as a character with his tendency to find himself attracted to female witnesses and his liking for classical music. I don't think that the series necessarily needs to be read in order of publication and this novel could definitely have been read as a standalone story.
A Dedicated Man was a good read. Robinson is a master at painting the scene in his books and this book was very much set in Yorkshire. The descriptions of the Yorkshire Dales are a real highlight and provide a wonderful backdrop for the story. Sadly I found the story itself to be a little lacking this time around. The book is set at a very slow pace and the middle section seemed to drag a bit. Banks as a character is very likable and I look forward to reading the next book to see where Robinson takes him next.
I would recommend this book to people that are a fan of the crime genre. However I personally felt it was a step back from the first book Gallows View. It was in no way a poor book but the pacing was an issue for me.