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Neighborhood Watch

3.08  ·  Rating Details ·  953 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
A riveting and frightening tale of false accusation from the author of Eye Contact

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
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 10th 2010 by Viking (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 02, 2011 Debby rated it liked it
Actually, my feeling about the book is "it's better than a 2, but not quie a 3"; however, I'll give it a 3 rather than am "it was OK" 2 star rating.

The premise of the book is that Betsy spends 12 years in prison for murdering her neighbor, Linda Sue, apparently while sleep walking. Now, she is being relaeased b/c DNA evidence proves she did not commit the murder. Betsy goes back to the same suburban neighborhood and mves in with neighbrs, since she and Her husband divorced while she wa in priso
Jun 16, 2010 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-mysteries
Way too much going on -- murder, sleepwalking, memory loss, AND cold fusion experiments in the basement.
Paul Pessolano
You wouldn't find too many novels classified as fiction/literature that will give you everything you would want in a true mystery. "Neighberhood Watch" does it.

This is a very low key novel that is almost totally devoid of action, but provides an ending that few will be able to unravel.

The story concerns four families living in an isolated cull de sac. Although the families interact with each other, all harbor secrets.

Betsy Treading, town librarian, has spent the last twelve years in the Connecti
Apr 19, 2010 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, first-reads, 2010
I won this book through the first-reads program and I have to say I really enjoyed it... to me it was a mix of a women's Oz and a private citizen's Law and Order. Betsy Treading gets convicted of a murder she can't remember doing and spends 12 years in jail until DNA evidence proves her innocent. She should be happy to be out of the joint, but it seems life is more complicated that it once was, people have changed... she's changed, but one thing hasn't changed, she still wants to find the real m ...more
Apr 19, 2010 Julie rated it it was ok
When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was excited to read this story. Unfortunately, this book was a big disappointment to me. The main character, Betsy, just didn't seem believable to me. The author spent alot of time describing Betsy's thoughts and emotions, but she still seemed so plastic. I thought the supporting characters were more well written than the main character (who hasn't had a rude, controlling neighbor like Marianne?). Also, the plot line didn't flow well for me. The ch ...more
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 ha
Sep 12, 2010 Nancy rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish this book. I really did try, and I *hate* giving up on a book, but this one I just couldn't stomach. It's about a woman named Betsy who is wrongfully convicted of killing her neighbor while she was sleepwalking, freed on a DNA exoneration, and then presumably must find the true killer. I'm sure this author is a capable and well established author, but I found so many errors in this book that I just couldn't suspend any fraction of disbelief. Firstly, the author would have us be ...more
Jun 28, 2010 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Miscarriages, prison romance, a murder, cold fusion, good books, eccentric neighbors, extramarital affairs, a mysterious cat, somnambulism, mental illness, a teen pregnancy, Buddhist monks---all this and more is tossed together to make an oddly tasty bowl of Implausible Soup. I finished this book and thought, "What the hell just happened?" There was entirely too much going on but I had a hard time putting it down, which is a tip of the hat to Cammie McGovern's writing rather than the chaotic and ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Alfredo rated it it was ok
I began reading this book as a way of taking a break of international conspiracies, zombies, vampires, alcoholic detectives, or wars between space empires.
I though that reading a literary book about a woman falsely accused of murder coming back to her old neighborhood to begin rebuilding her life and maybe find the real killed would be a good read.

I think I have been ruined by pop literature.

I found this book SLOOOOOOW, pretentious, confusing, and frankly, boring. Maybe I am too jaded and addict
Apr 19, 2010 Tasha rated it liked it
May Contain Spoilers - I won this book in a First Reads Giveaway so this is an advanced copy and review....

I just finished reading this book, it was a quick read (only 2 days) at under 300 pages. There were many new twists/turns that kept me guessing. While I enjoyed McGoverns commitment to her character development and plot twists I felt that the jumpy connection between past and present hindreed the storytelling and made it difficult to follow at certain points.

The underlying theme to the book
Manasa Kannan
May 07, 2016 Manasa Kannan rated it it was ok
Dear author,
No no. Just no. That's not how you end a crime book. I mean don't you know that you're supposed to have strong evidences, suspects, DNA testing, forensic reports, careful examination of the crime scene and then you let out how the killer proves positive to all the tests? You don't just say I'm sorry I killed her and end a book without any proof except of your words which can be one massive lie. Really. Maybe you should work on your crime tactics. I mean I give credit for all the mys
Jan 07, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it
This was a good book. It is a story about suburban living. How well do we really know our neighbors? This story is about neighbors on a street who form a Neighborhood Watch group, and then have to deal with the murder of one of their neighbors. You will discover the secrets that each character is hiding from their neighbors and/or loved ones. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a murder mystery as well as friendships, and life-choices and how they affect our lives.
Jan 13, 2017 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
Before this past fall, I had never read a murder-mystery/thriller set in the suburbs with an unreliable female narrator who may or may not be involved in the crime. Now, I've read three in less than four months. Since this was published back in 2010, it's more a fluke of my reading habits than anything I could actually blame the author for, but it's true that it compares poorly to my recent read-alikes.

The beginning of the story is strong. The way McGovern describes Betsy's life in the women's
Jun 23, 2010 Kathleen rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this one...about a librarian wrongly convicted of murder. The plot and characters are contrived and disjointed. Can't believe I read (sorta) all the way to the end to find out the identity of the murderer.
Nov 04, 2016 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Very interesting mystery, the main character Betsy Treading, a town librarian has been serving a long prison sentence for the murder of the lone single woman in her neighborhood. A murder she confessed to, but immediately wanted to recant, and had no way to do it without jeopardizing her defense.

Betsy has many problems, typical of most of us who have been socialized to behave within narrow bounds of acceptability. This is especially noticeable within the middle and upper-middle class, who often
Sep 10, 2012 Patti rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 08, 2011 Sonia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sapevo che aprendo questo libro avrei avuto tra le mani un thriller, genere che negli ultimi mesi mi sta appassionando sempre più.
Pertanto ero sicura che vi avrei trovato gli elementi tipici di questo genere narrativo: tensione portata a livelli altissimi, scene adrenaliniche, momenti di forte paura (...paura per la lettrice fifona che è in me e che a stento regge la lettura di determinate situazioni!).
Se pensate anche voi di accostarvi al romanzo della McGovern con la stessa mia convinzione,
Mar 20, 2010 Michelle rated it it was ok
Here is my review for The Associated Press:
¶ "Neighborhood Watch" (Viking, 288 pages, $25.95), by Cammie McGovern: When sleepwalker Betsy Treading found a blood stain on her nightgown days after her neighbor was murdered, she assumed her nighttime stroll had turned deadly. But after more than a decade in prison, Betsy begins to question what happened that night.
¶ An aggressive appeals attorney is able to use new DNA tests to raise doubt about whether she was even in her neighbor's house when the
Feb 02, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary mysteries
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
"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 n
Alison Hardtmann
Dec 16, 2016 Alison Hardtmann rated it liked it
Shelves: read-but-unowned
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 tog
Bert Edens
Apr 14, 2010 Bert Edens rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 11, 2010 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
I keep meaning to attend a book club meeting at my local library. The first step was knowing it existed and noting the book selections. The next step was borrowing the book and reading it. Now the only real step that remains for me is to actually attend the meeting. One of these days I'll do it. I swear.

This month, Neighborhood Watch was the book selection. I borrowed the book in time to read it before the meeting, but I forgot and read other books instead. When I realized what I had done, I di
Apr 02, 2010 Diane rated it really liked it

Betsy Treading, a librarian from a small town in Connecticut is convicted of murdering her neighbor --loner, and somewhat eccentric Linda Sue Murphy. The quiet librarian suffered from panic disorders, and was known to sleepwalk, and she was unable to recall earlier events that may have occurred during those times. After spending twelve years in prison, losing her job, her home, and her husband, she is released from prison when DNA evidence proves she was not the killer.

Upon her release, Betsy re
When Neighborhood Watch begins its main character is in prison for a murder that she thinks maybe that she did not commit, although she confessed to it. It turns out she is correct; she is not the killer, and she is released, to return to the neighborhood where it all began. At one point in the early chapters she states that she is where she should be (incarcerated)—because she has found friendship, community, and purpose in the women's prison. Because of that statement I fully expected her to r ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Neighborhood Watch, by Cammie McGovern, Borrowed from National Library for the Blind, available also from, produced by Tantor Media.

12 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,
Jane Dugger
This was an odd read for me. I can't decide if I like it or don't. The first half of the book was a little slow. Then all of the sudden once Betsy reconnects with Trish things really pick up. And hold onto your seat because before you know it the book is over & you're still wondering "what just happened exactly?!" I really wish someone I know would read this so we can chat (hint, hint).

The writing is OK, the characters are OK, the plot is very good but rushed at the end. I am still unsure h
Oct 20, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
So I read this to meet a category on my Popsugar 2016 challenge ... where the protagonist has the same job as you do. In this book, the protagonist is a librarian before she goes to jail for murder. And I didn't really like this book all that much. Betsy is written with trite librarian stereotypes, she comes off as dull, and for someone who is allegedly so "learned" and practiced in her trade she's really not that great at research or putting pieces of a puzzle together (para-insomnia/amnesia or ...more
Feb 10, 2012 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bought this book on an impulse:
(English is my second language so forgive me for any mistakes you might find here)

Murder, secrets, miscarriages, memory loss, sleepwaking... which all sounded like a good book. But unfortunately wasn't.

The first few chapters (~8) were quite interesting. I liked the way the author described her character, Betsy, inner thoughts and feelings, the changes and pace from present to the past, with the regain of her memory along the way. But then after that it kind of dist
Jan 02, 2011 Rhonda rated it liked it
This is about Betsy, a woman who has spent 12 years incarcerated for the murder of her neighbor, and is finally released based on DNA evidence. She leaves prison and goes to stay with friends who are still living in the neighborhood. Of course, she is compelled to keep asking questions until she finds out who murdered Linda Sue.

On one hand, the narration was excellent, as was the writing. It kept me engaged and interested - up until the very end. Then it began to get so bogged down and convolute
Oct 21, 2010 Kimberly rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
This book is about a librarian who has been in prison for 12 years for the murder of her neighbor. She doesn't remember killing the neighbor, but has a history of sleepwalking and had some circumstantial incidences that pointed the finger at her. When some doubt about her conviction comes up, she is released from prison and she begins to investigate to find out who the killer really is.

I don't read murder mysteries often because I find myself trying to read behind the lines so much that I can't
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Cammie McGovern was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and received the Nelson Algren Award in short fiction. Her work has been published in Redbook, Seventeen, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly, and other publications.
More about Cammie McGovern...

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“This is what we do, my mother's life said. We find ourselves in the sacrifices we make.” 31 likes
“Scratch a female inmate, I've discovered, and you'll usually find a girl whose mother had terrible taste in men.” 4 likes
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