Tim O’Mara is best known for his Raymond Donne mysteries and is currently writing the fifth in the series, The Hook. He is also the author of several short stories and two novellas, and is writing So Close to Me, a stand-alone high school-based crime drama. O’Mara made his editorial debut in April 2019 with Down to the River, a crime anthology of short stories set on or near American rivers.
O’Mara was inspired to create the character of Raymond Donne after visiting the homes of at-risk students from the public middle school where he was a teacher and, later, a dean in an underserved section of the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. Further provoked by his many interactions with the Youth Officers of the NYPD and his brother’s cop stories over the years, O’Mara believed that a character with experience in both worlds would make a great protagonist.
O’Mara’s debut, the Raymond Donne mystery Sacrifice Fly (2012), was nominated for the 2013 “Best First Novel” Barry Award. The novel introduced the series hero, Raymond Donne, an ex-cop who now teaches in the same Williamsburg, Brooklyn, neighborhood he once policed. The next three in the series — Crooked Numbers (2013), Dead Red (2015), and Nasty Cutter (2016) — received similar critical acclaim, and Nasty Cutter was re-released in paperback October 2017. Severn House Publishers is slated to release the fifth in the series, The Hook, in 2020.
O’Mara’s short story “The Tip” is featured in the anthology Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns, whose proceeds benefit the nonprofit States United To Prevent Gun Violence. His novella, Smoked, appears in the trilogy Triple Shot, and its lead character is resurrected in the sequel novella Jammed, published September 2018 in the trilogy Three Strikes. All these and Down by the River are published by the rising indie Down & Out Books.
O’Mara lives with his family in Manhattan, where he currently teaches an ongoing writing workshop and writes full-time, having retired in 2017 from a 30-year career as a New York City public middle school special education teacher. He is a proud member of New York Writers Workshop, Mystery Writers of America (New York Chapter Board), PEN America, Irish American Writers & Artists, and International Thriller Writers.