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Raymond Donne Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of Raymond Donne Mystery Books

Sacrifice Fly (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crooked Numbers (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dead Red (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nasty Cutter (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Hook (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Tim O’Mara is a mystery author best known for the “Raymond Donne” mystery series that debuted with “Sacrifice Fly” first published in 2012. The series of novels feature an ex-police officer that is now working as a teacher in the neighborhood he once policed in Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Apart from novels, O’Mara has also written critically acclaimed novellas such as “Jammed” and “Smoked” that have been featured in the “Three Strikes” and “Triple Shot” crime trilogies published by Down & Out Books. He had one of his short stories titled “The Tip” featured in “Unloaded” an anthology published in 2016. Before he became an author, he was a special education teacher that taught public middle schools in New York City for more than three decades. He still lives in New York and now gives workshops and seminars on creative writing. He has also written “So Close to Me” a school-based drama that unlike his other novels is a standalone title. He debuted as an editor in 2019 when he became the editor of an anthology of twenty-two short stories titled “Down to the River.”

Tim O’Mara has said that he started the “Raymond Donne” series while he was making a house visit to check up on a student that had missed classes for a while. It was quite an illuminating experience for O’Mara who was a white man from Long Island going to visit a housing project in Brooklyn. Most of the project was peopled by Hassidic Jews, African American, Hispanic and other minorities. Tim thought it would make for an excellent opening for a detective mystery. During this time, he was a teacher and believed good policemen and schoolteachers have a lot in common. Their work often involves patience, empathy, questioning, and the ability to get people to open up to you. He also had the advantage of having been a police officer and also had a brother in law still active in the Nassau County Police Department. Channeling both men, he came up with the character of Raymond Donne. He started with the home visit and let the characters develop over time. Unlike other detective mystery leads that often remain the same throughout a series, Donne changes considerably, becoming clean and even getting into a long-term relationship. He is also a dean, which makes it easier to utilize his detective sells at school which the author would know having been a dean once upon a time in his teaching days.

Tim O’Mara’s “Sacrifice Fly” introduces Raymond Donne, a man who was not always a teacher though he now is. He once was a police officer that worked the beat in Williamsburg, New York. However, since he was the nephew of one of the lead detectives in town, everyone expected him to go on to bigger things. But then an accident had severely injured his knees and he could no longer be a police officer and decided to become a teacher. He got a job in Williamsburg and tried to put his experiences in the police force behind him. But when one of the students in his class named Frank Rivas stops coming to school, he knows he has to find him. He is in danger of failing his exams and losing out on a good baseball scholarship. Ray goes to Brooklyn to find him, only to stumble upon his father murdered with a blunt instrument, his body sprawled out on the living room floor. Frankie and his sister are missing, most probably they have fled the scene. Frankie does not believe the boy could be capable of murder but then who could be responsible and where are the two siblings? The only way he can resolve the mystery and save brother and sister is by returning to the life he thought he left behind many years back.

In “Crooked Numbers” the second novel of the “Raymond Donne” mystery series by Tim O’Mara. Raymond Donne’s former student Douglas Lee had a bright future as he had won a scholarship and was to start attending one of the best private schools in New York. But everything starts falling apart when he is found murdered underneath the Williamsburg Bridge, stabbed twelve times. Under normal circumstances, there would be hue and cry and a lot of attention to the case from the media and police but both believe the killing is gang-related. When there is more evidence that is what happened, the police settle for what seems a more obvious explanation. The kid’s mother is having none of it and asks for Ray’s help in resolving the mystery of her son’s death. Ray no longer has the resources to look into the case using official channels. But he still has his connections and can conduct investigations unofficially asking questions and giving information to the media to fill in some of the holes in their narrative. Things get interesting when another of Doug’s friends from the wealthy school in Manhattan is murdered and another narrowly escapes with his life. How could a student who has lived a very privileged life get caught up in something so sinister and what does it have to do with his former student?

Tim O’Mara’s “Dead Red” opens to Raymond enjoying his evening when the phone rings. On the other side is his old friend Ricky Torres that had served with him as a beat cop in Brooklyn. He needs his help immediately even though it is in the middle of the night. Ricky had been driving a taxi ever since he came back from Iraq and comes in the car to pick up Ray. Before he can tell him what was so urgent that they had to meet in the middle of the night, the taxi comes under a hail of bullets, and Ricky is killed while Ray is knocked out unconscious. He would have done anything to keep his friend from harm but now that he is dead, he is determined to find out who would kill him and the reason for such an action. All he knew was that Ricky had a working relationship with his old nemesis Jack Knight that had also left the police force to become a private investigator. They were working together on the case of a prominent PR man whose daughter had gone missing. The girl had a connection to the streets where the three had worked as officers before. Could that have been what got his friend killed or could it be something more sinister?

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