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Neighborhood Watch: A Novel

Neighborhood Watch: A Novel

Written by Cammie McGovern

Narrated by Coleen Marlo


Neighborhood Watch: A Novel

Written by Cammie McGovern

Narrated by Coleen Marlo

ratings:
3/5 (10 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 10, 2010
ISBN:
9781400187621
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Twelve years ago, librarian Betsy Treading was convicted of murdering her neighbor, the bohemian loner Linda Sue. After DNA testing finally exonerates Betsy, she returns to her suburban community determined to salvage her life and find the true killer. As she begins to pick apart the web of secrets, lies, and love affairs uncovered in the wake of her trial, Betsy suspects that her tight-lipped neighbors may know something that she has denied even to herself.



In Neighborhood Watch, Cammie McGovern captures the nail-biting electricity of the best literary thrillers and zeros in on the subterranean tension abuzz in a town whose dark secrets threaten to obliterate the glossy facade of a perfect life. It is also the story of a woman coming into her own, finding her strength, and taking control of her life. It asks, what sort of price would you pay for the sake of your reputation? Intricately woven, psychologically astute, and filled with complex and surprising characters, Neighborhood Watch marks a significant step in the career of this talented author.
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 10, 2010
ISBN:
9781400187621
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Cammie McGovern was a Stegner Fellow and received the Nelson Algren Award for short fiction. Her fiction has been published in Redbook, Seventeen, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly, and other journals. She is the author of a second novel, Eye Contact. Please visit www.cammiemcgovern.com.

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What people think about Neighborhood Watch

3.0
10 ratings / 12 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    A good story overall, kept me interesting, but it was kind of a suspenseful mystery, and the resolution wasn’t really “gotcha!” enough to make me rate this as an excellent book.
  • (3/5)
    Don't sleepwalk.
  • (5/5)
    "Librarian Found Innocent of Crime After Twelve Years in Prison," the newspaper headlines read. The problem is, former librarian Betsy Treading couldn't feel less innocent - even after new DNA evidence irrefutably exonerates her of the murder of her eccentric and noticeably single neighbor, Linda Sue Murphy. True, the evidence may have released Betsy from prison, but she quickly discovers that innocence in court doesn't necessarily redeem her in the eyes of old friends.The truth is, Betsy will never feel exonerated until Linda Sue's true killer is found, and the murder for which she was wrongfully convicted is successfully solved. Back in her old neighborhood without a job, a car, a place to live, or her husband, Betsy is determined to clear her name and find Linda Sue's murderer at all costs. So, she sets out to unravel the complex web of denial, delusion, and secrets that have seemingly paralyzed the community. But the ultimate question is: will this former librarian be successful in shattering the perfect facade that protects such an idyllic world and has apparently ensnared her community?Neighborhood Watch: A Novel by Cammie McGovern is an intricately woven, psychologically astute tale that will keep readers guessing until the very last page. This is a riveting and frightening story of false accusations, and of the lengths to which some people will go to to keep their 'white-picket-fence' facade in place. It is also the story of a woman coming into her own, finding her strength, and taking control of her life. It asks readers, what sort of price would you pay for the sake of your reputation?In my opinion, this was an amazing book. I was immediately sucked into the story; it was an engrossing, nail-biting psychological tour-de-force - filled with all the secrets, lies, and deceptions of life in small-town suburbia. I appreciated that this story was so well-paced; I found it not necessarily over-dramatic, but always flowing and moving.In my opinion, the plot never became boring or stilted; what drama there was, never slowed or stalled the story. I found this story thoroughly intriguing and I wanted to know what happened next. I would give Neighborhood Watch: A Novel by Cammie McGovern a definite A+! This is the first book that I've read by this author, but it most certainly will not be my last.
  • (3/5)
    I had difficulty connecting with this book. I found that the story line kept skipping around and the characters did not feel developed. It didn’t make sense that this ideal community could be so bizarre in the individual stories that were told. Linda Sue, the newest neighbor was an interesting character but there was not enough about her to make her such a pivotal person. The idea of Betsy confessing to a murder she did not commit was a possibility but it took a long time to find out why this happened. When she was released from prison and returns to the neighborhood, I found the living arrangements and interactions implausible. She was found innocent and then came back to live in the community with the neighbors did not seem realistic. The ”Neighborhood Watch” group bringing in experts to help them work together on community safety issues is done in many communities but the idea of selling guns and locks etc felt a bit contrived.There were some interactions between the characters such as the flashback where the librarian (Betsy the main character) and Trisha, the young neighbor which rang true for me.As a child I used to ride my bike to the quiet and cool McKinley Library in Sacramento where I hung out and read. Now, as a librarian my interaction with the kids that come into our library and want to be read, be seen and heard and have a safe, cool and friendly place to enjoy the world of reading I am taken back to the wonderful feeling I had as a child.This novel may have been deeper that I experienced but for me and other may enjoy the lack of cohesiveness I experienced reading it. For me it was not as enjoyable read though I finished it appreciated the free copy provided to me from the publisher. I gave this a 3 star but would have probably given it a 2.5 if that was a possibility since it is better than a 2.
  • (2/5)
    Neighborhood Watch by Cammie McGovern is a mystery trying to be literary fiction. Librarian Betsy Treading has spent twelve years in prison for murder — a crime she confessed to committing even though she doesn't remember doing it. Now DNA evidence has exonerated her and for reasons that frankly baffle me, she's told by her lawyer to go back home and sniff around for clues.Betsy tells her story in a series of flashbacks mixed in with her present day investigations. Those flash backs involve her time in prison — and how she won everyone's respect and admiration by being a damn good librarian (okay...), her tragic backstory, the events leading up to the murder and some other angsty stuff.In her outlining of the characters, though, Betsy is about as subtle as a pile driver. She repeats lots of details and opinions. I suppose it's to show how on edge she is both with being released from prison (and a life she's gotten used to) and with facing her inner demons, she ends up telegraphing the identity of the murderer.I got about a third of the way through the novel before I knew who had done it and way. With the mystery out of the way, there was no compelling reason to keep reading.
  • (2/5)
    When I read Frantzen's "The Corrections," I finally gave myself permission to put down a book I didn't enjoy. Why didn't I follow my own advice with this book? I think I stuck with it because I'm a librarian and I wanted to find some redeeming quality in the book that would make me shout, "Hey, this is a great book about a librarian that everyone should read!" Sadly, I can't do that.I found the premise of the book interesting. A woman with a number of issues (sleepwalking, unable to carry a baby to term, lack of interest in her marriage, interest in a neighbor) is convicted of murder, sent to prison, and set free due to DNA testing. She returns to her neighborhood, the scene of the crime, to try to uncover the real perpertrator. Sprinkle in a number of interesting neighbors, fellow prisoners, and a mysterious young girl. That should add up to a great read. Well, the plot becomes convoluted and the characters one dimensional. That really adds up to a disappointing read.
  • (3/5)
    Betsy Treading spent twelve years in jail for the murder of a neighbor. She confessed to the murder, but DNA evidence eventually exonerated her. Now, she's returning to the same neighborhood to find out the missing pieces of that night in hopes of finding out who the murderer really is. She's divorced from her husband, unsettled after so many years in prison and has only snippets of memory of the time in question. McGovern writes a fast-paced thriller, in which the different threads all hold together. Betsy's an unreliable narrator, but she's like to be honest, mostly. The neighborhood, and especially the neighbor who takes her in on her release from prison, is very Suburgatory in its manicured lawns, proper behavior and hidden secrets.
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed this story. I found it easy to follow despite the time frames changing and the amount of characters. All the dysfunction in the neighborhood made it all the more interesting. I do wish Ms. McGovern had developed the main characters more deeply, I felt like I knew them just enough to want to know them better, especially Paul, the main character's husband. The end was abrupt and left me wanting a second book taking up just where this one ended, with no mystery left, with fewer characters and more richly developed ones. How is Trish and what does she think of her many hard and lonely years? What happens to and between Betsy and Paul? And Leo? No Leo please. Betsy was foolish to take up with someone she really didn't know at all and he was foolish too.
  • (3/5)
    Listened to the NLS Talking Book version. The novel focuses on the many dysfunctional relationship in a suburban neighborhood that was the site of a murder 12 years before. The circumstances surrounding the crime are slowly revealed after Betsy is released from prison when DNA evidence clears her.
  • (4/5)
    A perfect complement to the 'cozy murder mystery' tradition. A murder happens in a suburban block; instead of nosing around and solving it with her quirks, she goes to jail for it. Years later new evidence comes up and she's exonerated; as the story opens she has nowhere to go but a nervous friend's guestroom on the same block.'Cozy' serials are a little odd in assuming that the coziness could stay after all those murders. McGovern's suburban friends couldn't keep it even when they thought the murderer was in jail. It's not quite a noir story, the secrets and lies are a bit too banal, but the claustrophobia and unreliability are dark enough.
  • (2/5)
    Great story, but I felt that the writing was lacking something. I wanted more information about all the characters. I did not figure out who the real killer was, so that was good. And, the main character was a librarian (like me) so that held my interest throughout the book.
  • (3/5)
    Betsy, a former librarian, is convicted of murdering her neighbor, Linda Sue, and is sent to prison. Twelve years later, DNA testing proves her innocence and she returns to her previous community in order to try to discover who the real killer actually is.The plot description isn't a bad one. It sounds fairly intriguing and this novel had potential early on. But it quickly turned into a train wreck. The characterization was odd, especially the main character of Betsy. The author's attempt at various plot "twists" wasn't very cohesive and there was just too much going on in this novel, much of which really didn't add to the main story line and which felt unnecessary. Add to that some plot points that just felt implausible and you're left with an unfulfilling story. I'd read Cammie McGovern's earlier novel, Eye Contact, and enjoyed that one quite a bit, but this follow-up was largely a letdown.