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4.6 out of 5 stars
Sacrifice Fly
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Well, I am about to get a slew of unhelpful votes, since this novel has so many five star reviews and I am going against the grain. I posted a comment first, hoping that someone would tell me where I am going wrong. In short, I could only read 75 pages of Sacrifice Fly. I was totally bored. I'd put it down and not have any real interest in picking it up again. But all those five star reviews. Surely they couldn't all be from the author's friends and family. But nothing happens! Sure, he found a dead body. Okay, not much new there. We are told that a student is missing, but the hunt for him is proceeding at much less than an emergency pace. We even stop for dinner with the main character's sister. She orders sake, he wants a beer. She stopped dating her boyfriend. She put soy sauce on her wasabi. He needs a fork. He says "ice cream makes everything better." So, I stopped and had a bowl of ice cream. It didn't make the book any better. Where is all of this page-turning interest here? I like books, I like to read. I went to the NY Times and the Post and tried to find the reviews cited above. I got zero search results on both. So I guess this book is just not for me. I tried to explain why, and I have nothing against the five-star reviewers or the author. I just don't see the attraction here. Forget the "unhelpful" votes and just tell me what I missed. I wanted to like Sacrifice Fly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is without question my favorite read in recent years. I couldn't put it down, and no matter how much I knew I should stop reading and go to bed, I stayed up all night turning pages in suspense. Omara has managed to combine a REALLY well-crafted story with an actual page-turner. PLUS, he has captured a new hero for the ages: Ray. A lovable, unlikely super-sleuth school teacher with bad knees and a passion for baseball. The kind of guy you want to have a beer with, and the kind of guy you'd want teaching your kids. Great book. I only wish I read it SLOWER!! Now can just hope this gripping, often hysterical book has a sequel - and soon!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This story captured my interest, for a while. By mid-point I was struggling. Lots of mundane detail that could have been eliminated. I don't need to know that a person turned the key and the engine started. Just put him on the road. I finally quit reading; I simply didn't care what had happened to Frankie. I also found the crude language tiresome and annoying. Oh, and I never understood why Raymond always carried an umbrella. Maybe I missed that by not finishing the book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
O'Mara's writing is totally engaging. It's full of clever, back-and-forth banter between the characters, witty comments and thoughts by main character Raymond Donne, and a plot that hooks the reader through emotion and curiosity. From the very first page, the reader can see that Mr. Donne, a most incredible hero in this story, is an open book himself -- he's a "what you see is what you get" kind of guy. Donne has a great sense of humor and an outward sense of bravado and confidence, but he's a softy who's dedicated to his job of being a teacher. He's easy to like and quickly becomes someone the reader is invested in. Sacrifice Fly is a deftly interwoven story that keeps surprising the reader right up until the last chapter. This is a great book club choice -- lots of opportunity for discussion. Hopefully Raymond has more stories to tell!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Sacrifice Fly was one of the finer books I read this year. It was a pleasant surprise from a first time author, with interesting plot lines, subplots, and characters I could be interested in. As a long time Brooklyn teacher I could relate to Raymond Donne's situations and caring for his students. Donne is not the typical mystery book accidental detective. His compassion for people and passion for his career as a teacher make him more likable than the typical mystery book butt kicker. He wants nothing more than to leave the police work to the cops he used to work with and have everything right with his students. He is a teacher who goes the extra mile for his kids, a former cop who is persistent and uncorruptable, and a human being I rooted for page after page. I highly recommend this entertaining novel and look forward to the next volume by author Tim O'Mara.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This book is a definite page-turner! The plot is interesting with many unexpected twists, but the depth and complexity of the characters is also very engaging. What came to my mind while reading were some similarities to one of my favorite mystery series, the Dave Robicheaux books by James Lee Burke. The main character Raymond, like Dave Robicheaux, is a troubled man, imperfect cop, and reluctant hero. O'Mara was also able to capture the authenticity of New York and the people who live there, just like Burke has done for coastal Louisiana. I felt like the characters were real people, and I was experiencing the true New York through their eyes and their language.

I loved this book, and am already looking forward to reading the next one. Highly recommended!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Definitely should be made into a movie- the plots and characters kept developing throughout the story
Keeps your interest and guesing how the storyline will develop and come to closure
Try it you'll not be disappointed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First of all, this is not a book about baseball, although many of the characters seem devoted to one of the two New York teams. It's a hard-boiled who-done-it in the best tradition of the genre.

If Dashiell Hammett had grown up in south Brooklyn, he probably would have had Sam Spade rubbing elbows with Ray Donne ("as in finished") in the local cop pub, the Lineup. And Spade would have found it amusing that Donne came off like a cop even though he'd been retired five years, teaching hard case kids in a local public school.

Donne's the kind of character who we all feel compelled to root for, and at the same time wish he wouldn't get so deeply involved in other peoples' problems, if only to avoid getting beaten to a pulp in half the chapters. Thank goodness for his richly drawn and entertaining supporting cast that snatches him out of the worst of jams. Like Edgar, whom Peter Lorre would have definitely wanted to play, today maybe Colin Farrell or Paul Giamatti. And then there's all the crazy cops and even crazier villains. It all comes together perfectly and makes for an exciting, thoroughly enjoyable read.

It's been said that Tim O'Mara has a second Ray Donne book in the works. Which is a good thing. It's hard to be a fan of a character with just one crazy adventure. There were over 230 installments of Sam Spade adventures in film and radio (Bogart and Howard Duff), can't wait to see what Tim has up his sleeve for Ray Donne. Oh, and please get the movie in the works before Scorsese retires. Okay?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The first, of what I hope are more novels, by Tim O'Mara who hails from Hell's Kitchen. A nicely written crime mystery capturing the grit of New York City. The story evolves around the conflicted underpinnings of the protagonist -Raymond Donne.

O'Mara's realistic portrayal a city cop turned middle school teacher quickly spins into a missing persons story and murder that begs to be solved (enough said). The writing is in fact genuine and as "local" as it gets for New York City and its surrounding boroughs. The author has crafted an extremely good story with gritty and street-smart writing that captures the reader.

O'Mara's work presents a good opening, even and solid pacing of story, very believable main and supporting characters, and dialogue containing a good deal of local flavor that is cleverly descriptive. O'Mara pushes his mystery writing to the edge, but does not go over it - as most mystery writers often do by lacing their stories with predictable raunchy fluff. O'Mara's well crafted story works just fine on the straight and narrow path of good writing, especially for a first novel. Sacrifice Fly is an enjoyable read.

Hail, hail, Hell's Kitchen has a new author. Sacrifice Fly by Tim O'Mara is nicely written and recommended.

E. Cerino

Full disclosure: The reviewer and author have met by chance once and briefly chatted about the publication and anticipated release of this book. They are fellow members of The Author's Guild.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
SACRIFICE FLY is a debut novel by Tim O'Mara with real potential to become the first in a series of mysteries staring school teacher, ex-cop, Raymond Donne. Raymond's uncle is chief of police and a real hard nosed policeman, serving in the tough parts of Brooklyn. When Raymond blew out his knees during a police incident, he left his friends, and the fast track in the police department, to become a teacher in the toughest part of town.

But now, Frankie, one of Raymond's most promising students, has just gone missing after his father was murdered. The police suspect that the boy may have actually been the murderer since he has run away. Raymond does not believe Frankie would murder someone, and is anxious about Frankie's safety. Since Raymond does not see any real movement by the police to find Frankie, he decides to do some investigating on his own. Conflicts arise within the police department, and on the streets, where Raymond is getting too close to the truth of the murder.

This story covers a tough part of New York, where poverty, conflicts between ethnicities, and lack of a good education can change people's lives forever. The combination of a protagonist who is a teacher and an ex-cop, makes the story a compelling read. Great combination of excitement, compassion and 'street cred' reality makes this a great read. Hoping this will become a series!
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