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A Dedicated Man (1988)

de Peter Robinson

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Inspector Banks (2)

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9713616,399 (3.55)91
A well-liked, respected historian and archaeologist is bludgeoned to death and left half-buried in a field. Now it falls to Chief Inspector Banks to solve a seemingly motiveless murder-and stop a killer who's bound to kill again.
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Alan Banks did not move to the end of Earth (well... Yorkshire but it kinda qualifies after London) just to be stuck with gruesome murders again. But being Detective Chief Inspector it is part of his job. And people don't get better and behave better just because they live in the countryside.

Harry Steadman is a local historian and archeologist who does not seem to have any enemies in the small village of Gratly. And yet, someone hit him on the head hard enough to kill him - and then hid his body (not very expertly). Small villages tend to hide secrets and Harry is somewhat of an outsider - he moved there in the last years only although he was already known from long vacations he spent in the village before that. But anyone who had ever lived in a small place knows that these places also tend to generate a lot of rumors and trying to sort between rumor and fact is hard, especially if you really do not know the area.

Alan Banks suspects from the beginning that there is something under all the rumors but even he gets surprised when the truth starts emerging. He spends the novel trying to stick to his decision to stop smoking cigarettes and instead take to a pipe (it is 1988 after all - these days, it would have been vaping I guess although then the Sherlock Holmes connection would be lost) and that makes him think of Holmes and his usual motto - eliminate the impossible and whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. That is what ends up solving the case - but not before more lives are lost and a lot of happy memories shattered.

The novel is dated - it was written in 1988 and it was a different world back then. On the other hand it is too new to be different enough to be interesting because of that. As such, it has its problems - you need to keep in mind when the book is written or the blatant sexism may make you want to stop reading. But then it is normal for books written in a different time - the dales of England in the late 80s may as well be a different world sometimes.

It is not a great novel but it is a decent one and I enjoy the series. ( )
  AnnieMod | Aug 30, 2021 |
Have been reading these out of order, and would suggest Robinson did improve in later novel.

A retired archeologist is murdered and Banks investigates,

Found Bank’s preoccupation with a pipe dull & time wasting. The characters all appeared to be in their late fifties, then it became apparent they were supposed to be much younger. A teenager does some sleuthing, and she and her friends seemed to come from the fifties rather than the 1970’s.

Couldn’t quite understand why Robinson makes his detective a married man with children. They barely get walk-on parts.

Then suddenly Banks put all the pieces together. The mystery was wrapped up rapidly, and Poirot-like he gives a long tell-not-show explanation to the once-suspects. ( )
  LARA335 | Mar 9, 2021 |
Peter Robinson har utvecklats till en av de bättre deckarförfattarna genom åren men den här är som är den andra Alan Banks deckaren är seg och utan spänning. ( )
  Mats_Sigfridsson | Oct 6, 2020 |
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. ( )
  TGPistole | Feb 3, 2020 |
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 ( )
  SamSattler | May 17, 2019 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Peter Robinsonautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Janssen, ValérieTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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They were right, my dear, all those voices were right
And still are; this land is not the sweet home that it looks,
Nor its peace the historical calm of a site
Where something was settled once and for all . . .


W. H. AUDEN
'In Praise of Limestone'
Dedicatòria
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For Jan
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When the sun rose high enough to clear the slate roofs on the other side of the street, it crept though a chink in Sally Lumb's curtains and lit on a strand of gold-blonde hair that curled over her cheek.
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A well-liked, respected historian and archaeologist is bludgeoned to death and left half-buried in a field. Now it falls to Chief Inspector Banks to solve a seemingly motiveless murder-and stop a killer who's bound to kill again.

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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)

823.914 — Literature English English fiction Modern Period 20th Century 1945-1999

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Mitjana: (3.55)
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2.5 7
3 80
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