Most helpful positive review
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An excellent mystery and a fascinating character study.
on April 22, 2001
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.