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Neighborhood Watch: A Novel Hardcover – June 10, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
All characters are very real and three dimensional and this novel reads deeper than your average thriller for though it is about a crime the real mysteries revealed are those that are behind the surface of all people. As memories come back and different facts are discovered Betsy continues to become even more complex. The book takes your standard neighborhood in which many families wish to live and definitely says - be careful what you wish for. How all the lives in the neighborhood are intertwined is revealed in a suspenseful, page turning way. So though advertised as a thriller I would rather call this a a psychological profile for that is the process in which the mystery unfolds. The story is far deeper and heartfelt than your average thriller. These are characters you will feel like you know when you are finished and to follow the journey of knowledge with Betsy is a trip you will not soon forget.
Most of the neighbors have since died or moved away, one of the latter being her former husband's childhood friend, Geoffrey Steadman, a published author going through writer's block when he moved into Juniper Lane who had charmed every neighbor, male and female, Betsy among them. But she is compelled, even after all these years, to find the real killer. The one constant through the book is that everyone has things they hide, from themselves and others: "All of us carried secrets inside of us, ticking like bombs waiting to detonate."
Betsy is a woman given to panic attacks and parasomnia [more commonly referred to as sleepwalking]. She has never quite broken free of the effects of her troubled childhood, and has been haunted as well by her childlessness [after having five miscarriages], to the extent that she has given names and personalities to each of the babies she was unable to bring to term. She has many blank spots in her memories of the six years she and her husband lived on Juniper Lane [well, many more than that, but these are the pertinent ones], and as the book progresses she gradually remembers bits and pieces of critical events, including the night that Linda Sue died. The intensity quietly builds up as Betsy, and the reader, realizes the truth, coming only in the last few pages of the book. This is a very different, and compelling, novel, and I will be very interested to read more books by this author [this is her third novel].