Crooked Numbers: Book summary and reviews of Crooked Numbers by Tim O'Mara

Crooked Numbers

Raymond Donne Mysteries

By Tim O'Mara

Crooked Numbers
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2013,
    320 pages.

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Book Summary

When one of Raymond Donne's former students is found stabbed to death under the Williamsburg Bridge, Ray draws on his past as a cop to find the truth in Tim O'Mara's second New York mystery.

Raymond Donne's former student Douglas Lee had everything going for him thanks to a scholarship to an exclusive private school in Manhattan, but all of that falls apart when his body is found below the Williamsburg Bridge with a dozen knife wounds in it. That kind of violence would normally get some serious attention from the police and media except when it's accompanied by signs that it could be gang related. When that's the case, the story dies and the police are happy to settle for the straightforward explanation. Dougie's mom isn't having any of that and asks Ray, who had been a cop before an accident cut his career short, to look into it, unofficially. He does what he can, asking questions, doling out information to the press, and filling in some holes in the investigation, but he doesn't get far before one of Dougie's private school friends is killed and another is put in the hospital.

What kind of trouble could a couple of sheltered kids get into that would end like that? And what does is have to do with Dougie's death? None of it adds up, but there's no way Ray can just wait around for something to happen.

Following on the heels of his acclaimed debut, Tim O'Mara's Crooked Numbers is another outstanding mystery that brings the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan to life and further solidifies O'Mara's place among the most talented new crime fiction writers working today.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The plot is intricate without being elaborate, and the likable lead makes a plausible investigator." - Publishers Weekly

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Tim O'Mara has been teaching math and special education in the New York City public schools since 1987. His top-selling debut mystery, "Sacrifice Fly" has been nominated for the 2013 "Best First Novel" Barry Award. The novel introduced the series hero Raymond Donne, a Brooklyn public schoolteacher who was once an up-and-coming police officer until a tragic accident destroyed his knees and the future he envisioned on the force.

O'Mara was inspired to write Sacrifice Fly and create the character of Raymond Donne after making home visits while a schoolteacher in the poorer section of the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. Further moved by his many interactions with the Youth Officers of the NYPD while he served as a middle school dean and his brother's stories as a police sergeant, O'Mara believed that a character with experience in both worlds would make a great protagonist.

For the past 13 years, he has hosted and produced a bi-weekly reading series of poetry and prose in New York's East Village. He lives with his family in Manhattan, where he currently teaches middle school math, and is a proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Crime Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Irish American Writers and Authors, Inc., and several teacher unions.

O'Mara is currently writing his third Raymond Donne mystery, "Dead Red."

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