FICTION

Dead Red

Minotaur: St. Martin's. (Raymond Donne Mystery, Bk. 3). Jan. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781250058638. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466862999. MYS
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Raymond Donne survived a serious injury that ended his career as a New York City cop. Now a teacher, he is inexorably tied to the police force, with an uncle who's chief of detectives and an enduring allegiance to his brothers in blue. When Ray receives a call to meet Ricky T, an old cop buddy who has just returned from Iraq, he is happy to oblige. At the meeting, sniper shots are fired, Ricky is killed, and Ray is lucky to escape with his life. The murder forges an uneasy alliance between Ray and pugnacious ex-cop Jack Knight, as the two are determined to identify Ricky's killer. Along the way, they unearth family secrets, corruption in high places, and the enduring horrors of war.
VERDICT This is the third in the series (Sacrifice Fly; Crooked Numbers), but it is not necessary to have read the others. O'Mara spends too much energy on quips and superfluous descriptions in the beginning, which stalls the momentum in this otherwise solid crime novel. The character of Edgar, the socially awkward techno nerd who assists Ray, is a welcome reprieve from the usual cast of characters. A definite purchase if you own the series; optional for those who have a strong following of gritty crime novels. [Library marketing.]

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