A Crime in the Neighborhood Author:Suzanne Berne An auspicious debut novel by a young writer who will remind readers of Anne Lamott and Anne Tyler — Crime in the Neighborhood centers on a headline event-- the molestation and murder of a twelve-year-old boy in a Washington, D.C., suburb. At the time of the murder, 1973, Marsha was nine years old and as an adult she still remembers that summer as... more » a time when murder and her own family's upheaval were intertwined. Everyone, it seemed to Marsha at the time, was committing crimes. Her father deserted his family to take up with her mother's younger sister. Her teenage brother and sister were smoking and shoplifting, and her mother was "flirting" with Mr. Green, the new next-door neighbor. Even the president of the United States seemed to be a crook. But it is Marsha's own suspicions about who committed this crime that has the town up in arms and reveals what happens when fear runs wild.« less
Very well written story that takes place in the early 70's about a young girl in upheaval; her family falls apart at the same time that a particularly horrendous crime occurs to a boy who lives on her street. These separate events become intertwined in her mind. Definitely recommend this--especially good if you lived through this period as the politics, etc will resonate.
This is an outstanding book and, I believe, a first novel for this writer. It is an example of how imagination can run wild and ruin an innocent person and also hurt the person who spread the rumor. It takes place during the Nixon years in Washington and reflects the paranoia of that administration.