Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Banks' 2nd case: A Dedicated Man

     Peter Robinson. A Dedicated Man (1988) The second Banks novel. Harry Steadman, an academic with no enemies, thoroughly dedicated to his work, lies under some stones with his head bashed in. Chief Inspector Banks becomes convinced that the solution lies in the past, when Steadman and his wife Emma used to come to Swainsdale for their summer holidays, and for his field work in industrial archeology. Steadman has come into an inheritance, which enables his purchase of the house that he summered in, and gives him the time he wants to pursue his obsession. It’s this dedication to his avocation that does him in. Add a clever but naive sixteen-year-old girl with dreams of becoming famous, a nicely selected cast of suspects, some folk music, and of course the looming fells of the Dales, as well as unusually pleasant summer weather, and you get a well-done entertainment.
     Not up to the standard set by the first book, but good enough. We don’t learn much more about Banks and his life, though, which may be the reason I didn’t find this as satisfying a read as the other Inspector Banks books I’ve read. **½

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