Item description for Clear Blue Sky: A Novel by F. P. Lione...
It's the beginning of a gorgeous September in the City that Never Sleeps. Summer may be officially over, but Labor Day Weekend means ethnic festivals and dancing the streets and lots of overtime for police officer Tony Cavalucci. When crowd control gets unusually dangerous, Tony starts to wonder why he even does this kind of work. And going home doesn't bring him any more respect. His neurotic and dramatic family disapproves of both Tony's fianc and his new-found faith. All this foreshadows what's about to come to the people of New York on September 11, 2001. Normal day-to-day events and fantastic weather lead up to the most difficult day in the city's history. Now Tony finds himself in brand new territory. As he fights to survive and help others survive as well, Tony learns all over what faith means, what family means, and what life itself means. The author of this highly compelling novel is an ex-cop who survived the World Trade Center rescue efforts. Consequently, the storytelling throughout the book rings with authenticity. All of this makes for a fast-paced and deeply moving page-turner that is at times funny, at times horrible, and always full of humanity, compassion, and the presence of God. The Liones offer their very best work in Clear Blue Sky.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.2" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Aug 31, 2007
ISBN 0800718860 ISBN13 9780800718862
Reviews - What do customers think about Clear Blue Sky: A Novel?
I'm Going to Read More by F.P. Lione... May 28, 2008
It's several months after the release date of Clear Blue Sky but I don't want to neglect writing it up. I've not read any of the Lione's previous novels so I don't have a feel for their voice overall. However, I will be picking up previous and future books because the story of Tony and Michelle, New York and his life as a cop, a son, a new Christian and a man were intriguing and gritty and real.
I was surprised that the majority of the book didn't deal with September 11th, that this huge and very well written and gut-wrenchingly told event was only a small part of the lives of Tony and Michelle.
The writing is narrative and to-the-point and through the eyes of Tony, an Italian New York cop, who is at a crossroads in life. He is facing changes within his close knit and very dysfunctional family. He has chosen to marry a woman who doesn't please the majority of his family members because she is not willing to put up with the dysfunction, the alcoholic brawls and the mind games. Tony, a reformed bad boy, has a fledgling faith and a strong friend/partner/mentor in Joe. But Tony is pulling away from church because something just isn't looking right and he doesn't know what to do about it. Tony's brother and father are closer than ever and edging Tony out and Grandma, the sweet old lady, is losing control so she's pulling out all the stops and not looking quite as sweet. All of a sudden alcohol is looking really good to Tony and he's wondering what it's going to cost him to have Michelle as a wife.
There is so much to this story. The writing is a little more nuts and bolts than I generally dig into, but the characters and descriptions and details pulled me in and didn't let me go. I want to read more about Tony and Michelle. I want to see the entire family healed. I want to hug Joe because he acts like Jesus. There are situations and words that would offend folks, so be forewarned. But if you aren't easily offended and squeamish, look into this novel.
A winner Oct 20, 2007
With the Labor Day weekend and its feasts over, the overworked NYPD police know they can catch a breath after tons of overtime mostly involving crowd control. Police officer Tony Cavalucci did his job, but crowd control is a part of his patrol work he hates as he dreams of getting "out of the bag" and into a plainclothes anti crime unit.
He and most of his peers fear the new mayor will return the streets to the perps as his aids are not impressive; still he does his job of patrolling the streets. Following a graveyard shift on the morning of 11 September 2001 on a warm clear day he stops for coffee and muses unhappily about the demands his family have placed on him. His brother wants him to host a wild last fling bachelor party to remind him what he is giving up by marrying. His extended Italian family especially his mother hates his fiancée Michelle as she is ethically and religiously incorrect and had a child Stevie out of wedlock. They insist he drop her or else. As he ponders whether he will have to give up one of the two families he loves, all that changes when he notices smoke coming from one of the Twin Towers.
CLEAR BLUE SKY continues the insightful look at the life of a New York City cop (see the previous three Midtown Blue novels: not read by me - THE DEUCE and THE CROSSROADS; read by me SKELLS). 9/11 is important to the plot, but comes towards the latter part of the novel as readers follow Tony's personal and professional life in the days just before the tragedy (much of the setting), during the rescue attempts, and immediately after. Fans of police procedurals will appreciate this series that focuses on the cop on the job and off the job as readers obtain a perceptive glimpse of the work pressures and family demands on a police officer.
...reveals the heart and soul of a cop Oct 5, 2007
I've said before that reading an F.P. Lione novel is like watching an un-cut taping of COPS, only you follow the cops home. But in a way that's doing their writing a disservice. A Lione novel is about much more than the domestic disputes, car chases, and gun wielding criminals often found on the tv show. That isn't to say these types of situations don't make it into the pages. They do. But a Lione novel digs deeper than that. By following police officer Tony Cavalucci on and off duty, the Lione's reveal the heart and soul of a cop. Tony's story has already filled three Midtown Blue novels (The Deuce, The Crossroads & Skells), and his saga continues in Clear Blue Sky, the unofficial 4th book.
This time around Tony's closer to marrying his fiance Michelle, and his Italian family continues to voice their objections to the union. Michelle isn't Italian or Catholic, two strikes against her. She had her young son Stevie out of wedlock and there's no sign of the father. Strike three. With the Cavalucci family you're guilty until proven innocent, and even then if you get on their bad side they'll find some way to convict you. Their crazy yet realistic dynamics provide just as much drama as the worst nights on Tony's midnight tour, and it's starting to wear on him. He finds himself torn between loyalty to his blood-family and the family he's come to love as his own. He doesn't want to lose either of them, but sooner or later he's going to have to make a choice.
Not to mention that he and God haven't been on the best of terms lately. Since Tony became a Christian his life has actually gotten harder. Not only does he have to face the temptation to hit the bottle again, but he's facing moral choices right and left. Case in point: he promised to throw his brother Vinny a bachelor party. Vinny wants it wild, like old times. Tony struggles with letting his brother down and standing behind his new-found principles, and Michelle. If it weren't for his Christian partner, Officer Joe Fiore, Tony would probably slip back into his old ways as easily as he slips on his gun belt.
It's an incredibly realistic portrayal of one man's struggle to live out his faith. Being a cop and a Christian are hard enough. Being an Italian cop with a dysfunctional family is harder. How can Tony keep the faith without losing his family?
Like the books before it, Clear Blue Sky is not a novel with a clear plot. But it will keep you riveted. There's something extremely compelling in the Lione's style. Their details are vivid and specific, adding to the authenticity. Like the others in the Midtown Blue series as you read Clear Blue Sky you really do feel like you're tagging along in the back seat of Tony's patrol car as he faces the sad, the serious, and the outrageous on his beat. You'll walk away from the novel with a new appreciation for police officers.
This novel is being marketed as a stand-alone about the 9/11 tragedy, which could be slightly misleading. The actual disaster doesn't occur until well into the story. I had expected to read more about Tony and Joe's experiences on that day. But holding off until the end was a natural and effective way to build tension. You know the Twin Towers are coming down, and you look for it on every page. Brings home the point that September 11th was a normal autumn day like any other.
If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a cop in one of the world's busiest cities, look no further. Pick up any Lione novel and feast on the experience. Clear Blue Sky is no exception. But in this one you'll come away with new insights on what really happened in New York City that fateful September day in 2001--the day the sky was clear and blue.
--Reviewed by C.J. Darlington for TitleTrakk
5+++++++ Stars! Sep 9, 2007
Clear Blue Sky is one of the most moving books I've ever read. It's edgy and real, with scenes that will grab your heart. It's been days since I finished this book and I can't stop thinking about the story, nor do I want to. F.P. Lione always delivers a great book, but they've exceeded even my high expectation with Clear Blue Sky.
Not What I Expected Aug 26, 2007
I love this series and the characters. I felt with this book that the title is a little misleading. I like the feeling of living Tony's life with him ... the everyday world viewed through his eyes. I would have liked to see more of Tony and Michelle's love story as a focus instead of as an afterthought. I cannot say anymore without giving away a big part of the story. I hope to see more in this series because I really do like it. :)