The Neighborhood Watch

Mell Lazarus, Author Doubleday Books $16.95 (301p) ISBN 978-0-385-23170-1
Loring Neiman, writer, widowed father, good neighbor, is also a thief. That is to say, when his book is rejected and the mortgage is in default, Neiman starts to rob his neighbors, and discovers that he is very good at his new craft. Lazarus, the creator of the cartoon strips Momma and Miss Peach, depicts his protagonist as a sympathetic, sensitive and earnest person, and he peoples Neiman's Brooklyn neighborhood with a pleasant collection of Jewish characters who are just on the safe side of predictable. After Neiman becomes involved in an affair with a married woman, he decides to give up his criminal activities, but one neighbor with a shady past forces him to do one more job. Wry and modestly entertaining, the novel fails to build to a forceful ending, cashing in instead with a somewhat mushy courtroom climax. (March 14)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-671-63388-2
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