Tuesday, December 10, 2013
A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson
Chief Inspector Alan Banks moved from London to the country for the lower crime rate he expected to find and for the most part, he is right. So he is surprised to have his Sunday dinner interrupted by news of a murder. Harry Steadman has been murdered and buried in a field.
It is hard to imagine a more unlikely murder victim. Steadman had been a professor. When he came into an inheritance, he and his wife had bought a house and come to the area to retire. They had spent time in the area twenty years before as newlyweds and learned to love it. Steadman had an interest in the local history and spent his time excavating local sites for his research.
Who could have borne him enough hatred to kill him? His wife seems heartbroken, and has an alibi from the neighbor she spent the evening with. There was a skirmish with a realtor who wanted to develop a site that Harry felt had historical interest, but it was hardly heated enough.
After investigation, Harry starts to wonder if the roots of this murder extend into the past; that past when he visited the area before. He had befriended a young teenage couple and they accompanied him on his archaeological visits. The young man had gone on to college, become a professor himself, and a colleague and friend of Harry's. The young woman had become a fairly successful folk singer, but returned to the village. They drifted apart and some wondered in Harry was the reason.
This is Peter Robinson's second Inspector Banks mystery. The reader is transported to a rural English countryside, and the way crime occurs and is handled there. The ending is enough of a surprise to delight the reader and make them eager to continue the series. This book is recommended for mystery lovers.