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A Dedicated Man
By Peter Robinson

A DEDICATED MAN – (Inspector Banks #2)

Cover image of the book 'A Dedicated Man' by author Peter RobinsonNear the village of Helmthorpe, Swainsdale, the body of a well-liked local historian is found half-buried under a drystone wall.

Harry Steadman has been brutally murdered.

But who would want to kill such a thoughtful, dedicated man?

Chief Inspector Alan Banks is called in to investigate and soon discovers that disturbing secrets lie behind the apparently bucolic facade.

It is clear that young Sally Lumb, locked in her lover’s arms on the night of the murder, knows more than she is letting on. And her knowledge could lead to danger…

Cover image of the book 'A Dedicated Man' by author Peter Robinson


Image Of Author Peter RobinsonPeter Robinson is a native of Yorkshire, England, where he earned his BA Honours Degree in English Literature, from the University of Leeds.

He then moved to Canada where he earned an MA in English and Creative Writing, going on to further success with a PhD in English.

Peter is best known for the Inspector Banks series of novels set in the fictional Yorkshire town of Eastvale, which have been translated into nineteen languages, but he also writes short stories and other novels.

He has been nominated for and won, numerous awards for his contribution to the genre of crime thriller writing and now divides his time between his Canadian home in Toronto and Richmond in his native Yorkshire.

“I think writers have to able to enjoy solitude rather than just endure it. I’ve always enjoyed being left alone with my imagination, ever since I was a kid”

Cover image of the book 'A Dedicated Man' by author Peter Robinson


“Murder is the one crime that can’t be put right. It upsets the balance. The dead can’t be restored like stolen property; death doesn’t heal like physical or emotional scars left by assault or rape. It’s final. The end…”

Cover image of the book 'A Dedicated Man' by author Peter Robinson


“British crime writing at its very best!”

I have read books from later in the ‘Alan Banks’ series, so I already know what happens to the character in his personal life, although this does not detract in any way from my enjoyment in back-tracking a little, in this, the second book in the series.

Peter Robinson is still establishing the character and his family, fleshing them out, to give them a life of their own. They are becoming totally believable, not too exuberant or larger than life, as they strive to fit into their new home and community in the Yorkshire dales, after the hustle and bustle of life in London.

Banks is coming to like his new found peace and quiet, mentally leaving the investigation for short periods, to share his random thoughts and to wax lyrical in his very vivid and real descriptions, of his adopted Yorkshire Dales.

Much of the investigation seems to take place in or around various public houses and involves quite a large intake of both alcohol and tobacco, with much of the time in between spent driving between remote locations in the Dales, to the accompaniment of his latest interest, folk music. I found this flawed side to his character quite endearing and in keeping with the whols ethos of  this intimate community, although I did have more than a passing thought that the similarity of the character with that of Colin Dexter’s character of ‘Morse’, was quite uncanny in many instances, although of course Morse had his musical tastes firmly rooted in the Classical genre.

In fact, all of the characters in the story are well developed and believable, in their individual roles, within this tightknit community. Banks is still treated as something of an outsider, with the locals  reluctant to talk to, or confide in him, despite the fact that everyone knows everyone else and everyone has an opinion to share. As is so often the case in smaller communities however, they are so busy minding everyone else’s business, that they have been caught unawares and are blissfully ignorant about the identity of the murderer in their midst.

The plot isn’t hurried along, which is a little unfortunate for Banks, who subsequently and very  emotionally for him personally, has two crimes on his hands. We now get to go beyond that bluff exterior and see the softer side to his personality, as he strives to come to terms with his own shortcomings  in the investigation, in this often reflective study of human nature.

Banks is a man of great tenacity in his ability to solve a crime, despite the many false leads and intricate sub-plots, that stand in his way and following his thought processes and powers of deduction was quite interesting,  changing my mind about the identity of the person he was seeking out several times and keeping me guessing right until the end.

This book was nothing less than the quality of writing and levels of suspense, that I have come to expect from Peter Robinson and personally, I would highly recommend it, if you are in the market for a great crime fiction read.

Image Of Author Peter Robinson

This paperback edition was taken from my personal library and was purchased by me from a local charity shop.

I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a well deserved 4 out of 5



Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • Hi Yvonne, I recall reading this some years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I keep meaning to return to the series where I left off but never get around to it. I don’t watch much in the way of tv, but I caught a couple of episodes of “DCI Banks” played by Stephen Tompkinson. I think he did a reasonable job in the role. I must look out those old Peter Robinson books, I don’t think I gave them away!

    • Hi Chris,

      Good to hear from you again, long time, no speak.

      I have read four or five books from the series now, but not in sequence, this book is one of the very early ones. It is lucky for me that they work well as stand alone stories.

      I really am bad at reading a series in sequence, from beginning to end, that would just be too simple!!!!

      We also watch very little television these days, as most of the programmes are of such appalling quality, to be perfectly honest.

      I do like to watch some of the old detective programmes if I am at home alone, which also isn’t often these days, I have to admit a complete addiction to them.

  • Your review makes me want to get a copy of this, but I usually don’t read a series out of order( even if the can stand alone). I’ll have to check into the whole series and see if I’d be interested in reading them all.

    Your review was excellent!!

    • Hi Vicki,

      Thanks for stopping by and for the lovely comment, I really appreciate it.

      There are a whole bunch of titles in this series featuring ‘Alan Banks’, so if you want to check them all out in one place, this is the best site to visit:


      I am terrible for not reading a whole series of books, but I like to mix up the genres I read and then I get side-tracked onto something else entirely.

      So long as a book works as a stand alone story, then that is okay by me.

      I admire you for being disciplined enough to read a series in order, it must give more of a sense of satisfaction doing it that way.

    • Hi Yvonne,

      Thanks for stopping by and I am glad that you had a great week away in Florida with your family.

      Peter Robinson writes a great crime story, although they may not be to everyone’s taste. There is little high speed action, just some steady crime solving detective work from Alan Banks, who has a liking for too much drink, too many cigarettes and a penchant for folk music, all of which seems to distract him at times away from the investigation. However, he sees and hears more than anyone thinks and comes through with the identity of the criminal, without anyone else being able to really work out how.

      I love detective fiction of any description, so adapting to the differing detection styles of the various crime solving boffins, is all part of the reading experience for me.

      Thanks for the kind comments about the review, I appreciate them.

    • Hi Peggy,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving comment, it is very much appreciated.

      This is a series of books that are well worth adding to your reading list, if you like a story that is full of good old fashioned detective work, without all the ‘bells and whistles’ associated with many of the more modern crime solvers.

      We are unable to get Netflix here in the UK as yet, but I did manage to find a site where you could watch some of the episodes for free online, although I am not sure if this will work in the US, it might be worth while checking it out


      Hope that this link is of some help and enjoy your viewing if it works.

Written by Yvonne