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A Dedicated Man (Inspector Banks Mysteries) [Mass Market Paperback]

Peter Robinson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Peter Robinson is that most rare of mystery writers. He is not satisfied with a corpse, a detective and some clues. Robinson creates a complete world with three-dimensional characters who come alive for the reader. In "A Dedicated Man," the shrewd and dogged Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks investigates the death of Harry Steadman. Harry was a former university professor, a man with no enemies who studied local history for fun. Yet someone hated Harry enough to brutally murder him and dump his body in the Yorkshire dales. For quite a while, Banks is completely stymied. He questions Harry's widow and his small circle of friends, but Banks makes little progress. Only after relentless digging and after the death of a second victim does Banks come up with the solution to the crime. It turns out that Harry's life and those of his friends are not as straightforward and uncomplicated as they had at first seemed. What is wonderful about Robinson is that he makes police work look as tedious and difficult as it really is. It is clear that without relentless and time-consuming detective work on the part of Banks and his colleagues, they would solve few crimes. Robinson, along with Rendell and James, is a superb writer of novels that also happen to be first-rate mysteries.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robinson Does It Again! Jan. 29 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fans of Peter Robinson's "Inspector Banks" mysteries will not be disappointed in "A Dedicated Man." The author presents us with another host of interesting characters, any of which could be the evil-doer. The most complex of all is Banks, and we are given more insights into his psyche and his home life. Robinson's wonderful descriptions of Yorkshire and its people make me feel as though I were there, having a pint in the local. This is a very good story that keeps you guessing to the very end why anyone would want to kill "The Dedicated Man." I highly recommend this to new readers of the Banks mysteries as well as to the already addicted reader.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dedicated policeman June 18 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Second books are often a bit like second musical albums after big debuts. Good, but somehow lacking the magic of the first effort. That's how I feel about "A Dedicated Man". I really debated between giving it three or four stars.
It easily earns three stars as an least average British police procedural. The writing is competent. The clues (or lack thereof) all make sense in in the end. It gets another half star for its many thoughtful observations of the Yorkshire environment - both the landscape and the mentality of the people. I'm pretty much rounding up the score after that. I like Banks and plan to keep reading the series which has received considerable praise in recent years. Still, I haven't found anything so fascinating that I'm going to recommending the book or series to friends---yet.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a great mystery Nov. 14 2007
Format:Audio Cassette
This was my first Inspector Banks book and I was really let down. I got
tired of the trips to the pub, the landscape and also Banks trying to
continually light his pipe!!!! The characters were O.K. but not really
too interesting and by the end I was skipping pages. I will try another
one and hope for better.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent mystery and a fascinating character study. April 22 2001
By E. Bukowsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Peter Robinson is that most rare of mystery writers. He is not satisfied with a corpse, a detective and some clues. Robinson creates a complete world with three-dimensional characters who come alive for the reader. In "A Dedicated Man," the shrewd and dogged Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks investigates the death of Harry Steadman. Harry was a former university professor, a man with no enemies who studied local history for fun. Yet someone hated Harry enough to brutally murder him and dump his body in the Yorkshire dales. For quite a while, Banks is completely stymied. He questions Harry's widow and his small circle of friends, but Banks makes little progress. Only after relentless digging and after the death of a second victim does Banks come up with the solution to the crime. It turns out that Harry's life and those of his friends are not as straightforward and uncomplicated as they had at first seemed. What is wonderful about Robinson is that he makes police work look as tedious and difficult as it really is. It is clear that without relentless and time-consuming detective work on the part of Banks and his colleagues, they would solve few crimes. Robinson, along with Rendell and James, is a superb writer of novels that also happen to be first-rate mysteries.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars traditional, unchallenging British mystery Feb. 25 2003
By RachelWalker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When the body of local historian Harry Steadman is found buried beneath a dry-stone wall near the village of Helmthorpe, Chief Inspector Alan Banks finds himself presented with a extremely puzzling case. And why is it puzzling? Because, aside from a minor disagreement with his friend and local farmer over his selling of some lad, Harry was invariably liked y everybody, ad even that minor inconsequential argument was no reason to kill somebody. Harry was a kind, thoughtful, and respected man, whom everyone liked and about whom no one can find a bad word to say. There seems to be absolutely no motive for his murder. And yet, buried somewhere, there must be one�
Then, Sally Lumb, a local teenager whom Banks suspects of knowing more than she is telling, alarmingly disappears�
Very much an English �cosy� in the tradition of writers like Ann Granger, this is another success for Peter Robinson. There seems to be nothing exceptionally challenging in these early novels, but they�re very enjoyable reads. Robinson writes good prose, and structures his mysteries excellently. He develops his characters well, even if they themselves are nothing out of the ordinary. Banks is an excellent lead, very real and with a dry humour there is definitely something of Morse in him. But, it would be nice if we got to meet his family a bit more pretty soon�
Anyone who likes a nice, traditional, well-crafted and satisfying British mystery is guaranteed to like the books of Peter Robinson.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dedicated policeman June 18 2001
By Carol Peterson Hennekens - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Second books are often a bit like second musical albums after big debuts. Good, but somehow lacking the magic of the first effort. That's how I feel about "A Dedicated Man". I really debated between giving it three or four stars.
It easily earns three stars as an least average British police procedural. The writing is competent. The clues (or lack thereof) all make sense in in the end. It gets another half star for its many thoughtful observations of the Yorkshire environment - both the landscape and the mentality of the people. I'm pretty much rounding up the score after that. I like Banks and plan to keep reading the series which has received considerable praise in recent years. Still, I haven't found anything so fascinating that I'm going to recommending the book or series to friends---yet.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British police procedural July 22 2002
By Alicia K. Ahlvers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When Harry Steadman is murdered, Inspector Alan Banks and his officers are called in to find the killer. Because the murdered man was a genial professor, Banks has a great deal of difficulty finding anyone who might be a suspect. Everyone seemed to genuinely like Harry Steadman. When a young girl is murdered because of what she knows, the search intensifies and when the murderer is unmasked, everyone is stunned. The second mystery in Peter Robinson's series features an interesting mystery and an appealing main character.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad mystery, but could have been better Sept. 21 2006
By Michael K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the second in the series set in Yorkshire and featuring DCI Alan Banks, a London refugee just beginning to adapt to Northern ways. The story this time is set in a small community up the valley from the market town of Eastvale, where the police station is located. A retired academic with a mania for industrial archaeology and the inheritance to indulge it has been killed and his body left in a farmer's field. His immediate circle includes a local entrepreneur, an ex-folk singer returned home in disillusion, the local doctor, and another "incomer," an author of mystery novels (which allows Robinson to get in a few tongue-in-cheek digs). But then a teenage girl whose precocity and theatrical ambitions lead her to poke into matters on her own becomes the second victim. Where the first book spent a lot of time on the Chief Inspector's wife and family (necessarily setting the scene and establishing the characters), this one is much more the traditional police procedural, focusing on the murder itself, the suspects, and Banks's tireless efforts to pin the former on one of the latter. The denouement isn't exactly a deus ex machina, but I didn't think the reader received sufficient clues to even begin to logically identify the culprit. Robinson's beautifully orchestrated background narrative about life in rural Yorkshire, however, is worth the price of admission all by itself.
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