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Neighborhood Watch

3.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,091 ratings  ·  223 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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Average rating 3.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,091 ratings  ·  223 reviews

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Jun 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-mysteries
Way too much going on -- murder, sleepwalking, memory loss, AND cold fusion experiments in the basement.
Mar 02, 2011 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
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
Nov 04, 2016 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
Apr 19, 2010 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
Jun 28, 2010 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
Sep 12, 2010 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
Apr 19, 2010 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
Apr 19, 2010 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
Jul 25, 2011 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
Aug 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Cammie McGovern's NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH is a gripping novel about a childless woman haunted by a string of miscarriages and more than a decade in prison. From a women’s prison where there are no secrets, to a suburban neighborhood where there are nothing but, Betsy’s search for the truth draws the reader in. Strong characterization and clever plotting overcome what might have been an implausible premise — that an otherwise intelligent woman would confess to a murder she can’t remember committing. T ...more
Manasa Kannan
May 07, 2016 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 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.
Jun 23, 2010 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. ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is an example of how a book can tumble from 4 stars to 2.
The interesting premise of a woman released from 12 years of prison falsely accused of murder gets mangled as different characters are teased to be the possible actual murderer. This is interesting for several hours of listening although so little is focused on actual murderer. Then there is Betsey, the falsely accused who apparently during her 12 years in prison hasn't focused as much on the crime as she does once she is out.

Stacey Adams
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book could have been titled Suburban Secrets. It seemed that everyone in Betsy's close knit neighborhood was harboring secrets as well as Betsy herself. When Betsy confesses to Linda Sue's murder none of the neighbors come to her can that be? Her husband Paul is the only one who stands by her. Paul's best friend Geoffrey talks to all the neighbors after she's sent to prison but is that helping or hurting her chances of being exonerated? Who's really on her side? What are the ...more
Chassney Hodge
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Keep a watchful eye on all your neighbors.... This suspenseful mystery by Cammie McGovern lets you in on all the secrets of the residents of Juniper Lane. Betsy Treading has just been released from prison after twelve years of being committed for a crime that she didn't do. At least, this is what Betsy now believes. After thinking over her confession to the neighborhood murder, Betsy comes across new evidence, new stories, and new lies that help her discover the real person behind the murder. It ...more
Jan 13, 2017 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
Nancy Brady
Cookie cutter homes and secrets...

A twisted tale of murder and secrets on a street where all the houses are alike, but the people within...well, they hide secrets from themselves and their neighbors. Who killed Linda Sue? Was it the protagonist who served twelve years in prison, or is another person in the neighborhood? Follow the paths, let the story unfold, as Betsy trues to figure it out, too.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
My sister lent me this book - a librarian in Connecticut wrongly accused of murder! What wouldn't there be to like about it? Turns out, plenty. The characters lacked depth and seemed too far-fetched and stereotyped to be believable. Add in a little cold fusion experimentation in a basement, sleepwalking, mental illness, and gay repression, and you have yourself a book that tried way too hard and turned up short. ...more
Charlotte Brackett
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
I can't even tell you how long this book had been sitting on my bookshelf, but lockdown seemed as good a reason as any to finally read it.

I really enjoyed this one. It was about so much more than what was written on the back, and I always appreciate when you don't learn all of the secrets before reading a book. Betsy was so incredibly relatable and I could really see how someone could end up in a situation like this.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
While it was nothing spectacular that I have never read before, I still enjoyed Neighborhood Watch. Prior to this I read an almost 1,000 pages novel that took a long time to get through. It was nice to have a quick read. I think the perfect time to read this type of novel is between summer and fall.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very engaging with good character descriptions.
The old adage that the killer is someone you least suspect applies here.

I didn't figure it out. The plot twists and turns a little too much to my taste toward the end, but overall , I really enjoyed it. Wasn't familiar with the author prior to finding this book.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book took some really unexpected turns! The science subplot was super unusual and interesting. The whole story was full of people making morally questionable, gray area decisions and it kept me interested until the end.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got about 50% of the way and just couldn’t finish. I was so bored and couldn’t connect with any of the characters.
Elisa Sinnett
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Fun! Jumps the shark a bit with the mad scientists sub plot but otherwise a fun read.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I like how the author writes. I also like that the book unfolded it's secrets slowly, and kept me guessing pretty far along. ...more
Jan 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: sorry
The book did have some great parts - the children's lit bitsi thought were particularly great. But, OMG, the cold fusion huge pieces ... boring, long, dense - just horrible. Book is way more complicated than it is worth.

I still might try another book by McGovern - but would quit if started getting muddy.
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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.

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