Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is the creation of Peter Robinson. Affable, shrewd, and tenacious, Banks has turned his back on crime-ridden London and moved his family to the peaceful quiet of the rural Yorkshire hamlet of Eastvale in the north of England. Addicted to cigarettes and with a fondness for Theakston’s bitter, he has an eye for attractive women that he struggles to keep in check.
In A Dedicated Man, the second book in the series, Banks, under the guidance of his immediate superior Superintendent Gristhorpe, is beginning to adapt to Northern ways. But the small town’s residents still consider him an outsider, talking among themselves but giving little away to Banks. This proves to be a hindrance when the partially-buried body of a respected and well-liked retired academic, Harry Steadman, is discovered beneath a drystone wall in a field outside the nearby village of Gratly. Steadman, an unassuming man with a passion for industrial archaeology and the means to indulge it, seems to have no enemies, but someone brutally murdered him. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is determined to find out who and why.
A traditional mystery filled with well-developed characters, intriguing plot twists, and vivid descriptions of the Yorkshire countryside, A Dedicated Man is a good read.
Note: While there are continually developing storylines between Banks, Superintendent Gristhorpe, and the other members of CID as well as between and his family, each novel can be read as a standalone. The first novel in the series, Gallows View, was short-listed for the John Creasey Award in the UK and the Crime Writers of Canada best first novel award. It is an excellent read, but it contains scenes some traditional mystery lovers may find offensive.