A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson
|A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The second book in the Inspector Banks series is fresh and intriguing. It has a twist at the end which I didn't see coming. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: September 2002|
On the moor above the village of Helmthorpe in Swainsdale the body of a local historian was found buried under a tumbled-down dry-stone wall. Harry Steadman had been brutally murdered but everyone said what a wonderful man he was and how well-liked. Chief Inspector Alan Banks was the investigating officer and it soon became obvious that there were plenty of secrets hidden behind the lovely façade of Helmthorpe. Sally Lumb is disappointed in Banks. Why would any man leave London for north Yorkshire? The sixteen-year-old decodes that she could be the local heroine and sets off to investigate for herself.
Robinson perfectly captures the fictional village deep in the dales, with the limestone scar towering above it and an atmosphere of everyone knowing everyone else's business. Bank is still very much the outsider; the memories of London are not that good, but he's not yet used to the insular attitudes of the Dales. There's a feeling of a man who knows his job, but who isn't quite certain how it works in the current location. His staff are different too. Sgt Hatchley looks like a bucolic lump, but he has his own tricks.
It's a great story too. This is the second book in the Inspector Banks series and it still feels fresh, but it also lacks the unfinished feel of some of the earlier Inspector Rebus books and there's no sense that it's in any way dated. We might not have mobile phones and all the trimmings of modern technology but it's still a fresh story which digs deep into the human mind. There's a twist at the end too which I really didn't see coming, but which resolved everything perfectly.
On the face of it each of the Inspector Banks novels reads well as a standalone novel, but there are some plot spoilers (some bigger than others) in later books and if you can read them in order you'll get a better return for your reading hours.
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You can read more book reviews or buy A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson at Amazon.com.
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