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A Dedicated Man

A Dedicated Man

Written by Peter Robinson

Narrated by James Langton


A Dedicated Man

Written by Peter Robinson

Narrated by James Langton

ratings:
3.5/5 (34 ratings)
Length:
8 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 12, 2010
ISBN:
9781400182688
Format:
Audiobook

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Description

A dedicated man is dead in the Yorkshire dales-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: that evil can flourish in even the most bucolic of settings. There are dangerous secrets hidden in the history of this remote Yorkshire 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.
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 12, 2010
ISBN:
9781400182688
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

One of the world’s most popular and acclaimed writers, Peter Robinson is the best-selling, award-winning author of the DCI Banks series; he has also written two short-story collections and three stand-alone novels, which combined have sold more than ten million copies around the world. Among his many honors and prizes are the Edgar Award, the CWA (UK) Dagger in the Library Award, and the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy Martin Beck Award.


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Reviews

What people think about A Dedicated Man

3.6
34 ratings / 19 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Another good read by Peter Robinson. Quite different to the first book in the series.
  • (4/5)
    Continuing my recent discovery and exploration of Peter Robinson’s fiction, I have just completed his second Inspector Banks novel, A Dedicated Man. As I mentioned earlier however, this is actually my third Banks novel since I only discovered Robinson with last year’s Careless Love. It seems that the good inspector has been enjoying something of a major-crime lull since the personal trauma he and wife Sandra suffered in Banks’s debut in Gallows View. All of that though abruptly ends via the brutal murder of a “dedicated man,” a retired college professor who has permanently relocated to Banks’s rather isolated Yorkshire location. Mainly because everyone seems to have loved and respected the victim to such a high degree, the case proves to be a particularly difficult one for Banks to get a handle on, but the inspector counts on his usual persistence, along with a well aimed hard push or two in the right direction, to get the job done. And it’s precisely that attitude that attracts me to Robinson’s Inspector Banks novels. I have always enjoyed a good police procedural and found them to be more satisfying than detective novels by writers who rely on one thrilling scene after another to carry their books to some kind of (usually preposterous) conclusion. For me the best crime fiction writers are those who combine elements of both styles with an emphasis on process over thrill. Thankfully, too, Inspector Banks is a “talker” and several times in A Dedicated Man he explains his crime solving philosophy to one or another of the locals in great detail.Robinson first tells the reader something that Banks learned the hard way:“Banks knew from experience that once a murder investigation begins there is no stopping and little slowing down even for family life. The crime invades mealtimes, ablutions, and sleep; it dominates conversation and puts up an invisible barrier between the investigator and his family.”There’s also this from Robinson explaining the inspector’s mindset:“Banks also liked the feeling of being an outsider. Not a stranger, as he had been among the anonymous, international crowds of London, but an outsider. He knew he always would be no matter how deep he put his roots.” (In Yorkshire)In a revealing conversation with a crime novelist who also is a suspect in the murder investigation, Banks says this:“In writing, yes. In fiction. But in real life, I’m not so sure. It’d be a damn sight easier if I knew who the criminal was without having to write the whole book and make all the mistakes along the way.”Later on when another suspect asks if he is close to solving the murder, he says:“I can’t see it if I am, but detection doesn’t work like that anyway. It’s not a matter of getting closer like a zoom lens, but of getting enough bits and pieces to transform chaos into a recognizable pattern…But you can’t predict when that moment will come. It could be in the next ten seconds or the next ten years. You don’t know what the pattern will look like when it’s there, so you might not even recognize it at first. But soon enough you’ll know you’ve got a design and not just a filing cabinet full of odds and sods.” I really like Chief Inspector Alan Banks. He may be a bit of a plodder, but he’s not going to quit before he gets the job done. So if police procedurals are for you, I think that author Peter Robinson just may be your guy. And knowing that I have something like 22 more Inspector Banks novels to enjoy makes me happy (hopefully there are many more to come yet).As posted on Book Chase: bookcase.blogpsot.com
  • (4/5)
    Inspector Banks visits the village of Gratly to investigate the murder of Harry Steadman, an academic with a passion for the past. A sixteen-year-old girl and her boyfriend were near the murder scene but really did not see anything useful. Suspicion falls to a network of Steadman's friends and associates, many whose relationship with the man dated back at least a decade. Since Steadman seemed to be well-liked, Banks begins investigating the past as well. The installment brings pleasure to the reader following Banks' investigation. While the clues to the murderer's identity exist, the less obvious conclusion keeps readers' attention to the last page. I listened to an the audio version read by James Langton who did a commendable job.
  • (3/5)
    Peter Robinson published the first Inspector Banks mystery back in 1988. Since then, there have a been many more- the 21st was just published in January of this year! Since Dedicated Man is only #2, I have a ways to go, but I am already excited when I know that I can look forward to meeting characters who grow with each book. It's refreshing to be able to read an "old-fashioned" mystery story - no instant DNA analysis, no cell-phones, no CSI, etc. Banks is a steady, sure and intelligent plotter of facts, a listener who puts as much faith in what he doesn't hear from those he's interviewing as in what they say. His solving of the puzzle is not instantaneous, but rather slow, measured, and finally correct. It's a series I'm definitely going to continue.
  • (3/5)
    This is the first Inspector Banks novel I have read. I found it ok I liked the description of the lovely Yorkshire scenery. A local historian is found dead, Banks investigates then a local girl goes missing. Banks believes both cases must be linked. A few twists and turns then Banks finally gets the breakthrough he has been looking for. Not a bad book it is over 25 years old so no computers, mobile phones and the characters can smoke in the pub. Totally alien to modern days.
  • (3/5)
    This is the second of the Alan Banks mystery series. We like to listen to mysteries, especially British mysteries on car trips. Having exhausted some of our other favorite titles, this series seems like it will do well for that purpose.
  • (2/5)

    I'm not getting on with the early entries in this series at all. Might go back to the later ones and see if I still enjoy those.

  • (4/5)
    This second in the Inspector Banks series does not disappoint. I enjoyed it as much as I did the first one. In this book, Banks is on the trail of a pretty cold and calculating killer who has killed a local man and buried him under rocks in the open area in the area of Yorkshire where Banks lives. Banks finds he has to start sifting through some past history in order to figure out who did the deed, and unfortuanelty he isn't quick enough to find out who it is before another murder occurs. People will go to great lengths to keep the past buried. This is a pretty good series and for anyone who likes British procedurals, it certainly fills the bill.
  • (5/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. I feel sure that I have read some of his books before, but I can't be sure. The plotting was excellent and I enjoyed the fact that the clues were there for the reader to solve the mystery. Very subtle clues, but they were there nonetheless. The only downside is how dated the novel is, the references to a cassette tape player really through me for a bit. :) I am definitely planning on reading more by this author.
  • (4/5)
    This is the second in Robinson's long-running series featuring Yorkshire-based detective Inspector Banks, but the first that I have read. Like Robinson I am a graduate of the University of Leeds, so I was curious to read the well-respected work of an a fellow alumnus, all the more so in this case because I studied History at Leeds and this novel centres around the murder of a former Leeds history lecturer. I didn't find Banks quite as intriguing or appealing a character as some other fictional detectives, though he could well grow on me since I was certainly impressed enough to want to explore the series further.
  • (5/5)
    An early Banks set back in the late 80s, when there were were few mobile phones and smoking was commonplace. A local man is killed of whom no-one appears to say a harsh word, but someone must have had a reason to kill him and Banks really struggles to get to grips with the case, until inspiration comes from an unlikely source. An excellent plot which had me guessing until the end (and page turning).
  • (4/5)
    A good read. Good character development. Good mystery without tricks or wide stretches of the imagination. I want to return to Inspector Banks and fortunately Robinson has written other books with this protagonist. John Mark introduced me to this author.
  • (3/5)
    I’ve read a few books by Peter Robinson and generally enjoyed them. The TV series based on the books is also pretty good although DCI Banks in the TV series is more of a loner than he appears in the books. I think I prefer the book version of DCI Banks. This book is only the second one in the series and perhaps not quite as good as the later ones.It is summertime in Yorkshire and the weather is glorious. Young lovers spend their time outdoors and tourists are crawling over the moors. But it is neither a young lover nor a tourist who discovers the body of Harry Steadman underneath a stone wall; rather it is a farmer and his dog looking for a lost sheep. The wall is located near to Gratly where Steadman lived but he didn’t make it to the wall on his own steam. Instead he was killed and transported there by someone. Two young lovers, Sally and Kevin, were in a deserted shepherd’s hut nearby and were able to tell the police that a car stopped on the road for about 15 minutes at 12:14 am. Banks and his crew are able to ascertain that Steadman was in the local pub until 8:45 pm. Later Banks learned that Steadman went to visit his friend Penny Cartwright after that and was thrown out by her father around 10 pm. Penny and Harry were just friends although other people in the village thought differently. It doesn’t seem that Harry’s wife Emma was one of them though. Banks is having a hard time establishing a motive for Steadman’s murder. Everyone claims he was well liked and that he didn’t have any enemies. His wife might have the strongest motive since she stood to inherit his sizable estate but she was watching TV with a neighbour all evening. She thought he was off with his friend and publisher doing research for a book on industrial archeology of the region. Banks had to break the news of his death to her. Banks continues to beat the bushes but it isn’t until Sally goes missing and is then found dead that the pieces start to fit together. I love the descriptions of the Yorkshire countryside and the small villages peppered throughout it. Someday I think I will have to be one of those annoying tourists that clutter up the landscape.
  • (4/5)
    Peter Robinson gives us an inside look at police procedures as Inspector Banks solves the mystery of Harry Steadman's murder, a man whom nobody seems to have had a problem with. Robinson's characters are well developed and the story holds your interest right down to the last page. I will definitely be continuing with this series.
  • (3/5)
    I had hoped that I might have discovered a long series of police procedurals that I could work my way through, but I don't think I will be doing that. This is set in Yorkshire and features Chief Inspector Alan Banks, who is trying to solve murder case. He spends a lot of time questioning people quite gently in a Midsomer Murders kind of way, while knocking back pints (and more pints) of beer at lunch time and smoking a pipe.There were things about this novel which I enjoyed: Banks seemed to be a well-adjusted family man with no hidden past tragedy and his relationships with his colleagues were realistically portrayed. However, the standard of the writing was not great (favourite line: "I think I was responding to her sexual power unconsciously, and I was put off by her appearance") and the female characters were a bit off somehow. Penny Cartwright seemed to spend the novel having massive mood swings and behaving completely incoherently. Her back story was odd - I don't think people do make up incest-style gossip at all readily personally.While I'm glad the villain was who it turned out to be, I don't think we were given enough clues to work things out for ourselves and Banks kind of stumbled across the answer by discovering the baddies red-handed. Finally, the whole Poirot-style "this is how it went down" explanation at the end was very unprofessional, since it is addressed to his wife and two civilians (and he found out most of it from a confession).Disappointed.
  • (4/5)
    When a well-liked local historian is found murdered, Inspector Banks has to really put his detective skills to work in order to figure out which of the many unlikely suspects is actually guilty. This is a solid whodunit with a very puzzling path to the resolution. The previous installment had a little more depth to the characters, but this was still enjoyable as a mystery, especially since Banks is allowed to be misled and confused, which adds to the realism. There are also some lovely descriptions of the Yorkshire Dales and its people. Because of the change in audiobook reader, I actually like this better than the first one, but that isn't really a reflection on the story as such. Recommended to anyone who enjoys a semi-cozy British mystery.
  • (4/5)
    A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson is the second in the Inspector Banks series, and was written in 1988. This time the Chief Inspector is called out to Helmthorpe in Swainsdale to investigate the murder of a local historian, Harry Steadman. Steadman was hit in the back of the head with a blunt weapon and dumped by a stone wall. Nice right? He was “a dedicated man”; very involved with his work and in a happy relationship with his wife, Emma. He has a strong working relationship with his assistant and editor Michael Ramsden, has a fan and good friend in Penny Cartwright, and often drinks with a local entrepreneur and author at a pub called the Bridge. And, as in all good mysteries, everyone is a suspect. Robinson’s gift is to drop numerous red herrings and make everyone look guilty, or at least appear to have reasonable motive.

    So Banks begins to investigate the life of Harry Steadman. But digging through the past can upset people, and the further Banks gets, the more obvious it becomes that the past is more dark and complicated than he could ever have imagined. The situation is made all the more complicated when a local teenager becomes involved and tries to take the case into her own hands. Sally Lumb, albeit bright and inquisitive, is young and naive, is privy to some fairly pertinent information regarding the case. Her poor decision making, however, lands her in trouble. Banks must then try to solve Sally’s mystery without alerting too many people to the fact that the killer may be ready to strike again.

    I love Peter Robinson’s books. I know that’s a big statement considering I’ve only read two, but his writing style and his emphasis on old fashioned detective work makes his books easy and enjoyable to read. They are quickly devoured, but delivered at such a thrilling pace that picking the killer is damn near impossible. Writing a good crime novel means giving away a little, but not too much information, to keep the reader guessing and to make the whole experience exciting. If you like good crime novels, I urge you to read Peter Robinson.
  • (2/5)
    “A Dedicated Man” is the second book in the Inspector Alan Banks series from Peter Robinson. This time, a well-respected history professor is found dead. There is no apparent motive for his murder; everyone Banks speaks to describes the late professor as “a dedicated man” with no enemies.Banks hits a dead end in the investigation. So he turns, appropriately, to history. He investigates the background of people who know the professor years ago, trying to put together a picture of the relationships in case this sheds new light on the case. The professor’s wife, some of his local drinking buddies, a colleague from York and a couple of friends from the past – all come together like a puzzle to reveal a complex picture of interpersonal feuds and friendships that ultimately reveal the killer.
  • (3/5)
     A much more laid back Banks appears in this installment. I wouldn't call him boring, as much as it seemed he was settling into his environ and trying to not rock the boat. But I got the feeling deep down he was wanting to to shake things up a bit and am hoping he's going to be more assertive in the next go 'round.