Author John Milliken Thompson
Release Date: June 21, 2011
On an early spring morning in Richmond, Virginia, in the year 1885, a young pregnant woman is found floating in the city reservoir. It appears that she has committed suicide, but there are curious clues at the scene that suggest foul play. The case attracts local attention, and an eccentric group of men collaborate to solve the crime. Detective Jack Wren lurks in the shadows, weaseling his way into the investigation and intimidating witnesses. Policeman Daniel Cincinnatus Richardson, on the brink of retirement, catches the case and relentlessly pursues it to its sorrowful conclusion. As the identity of the girl, Lillie, is revealed, her dark family history comes to light, and the investigation focuses on her tumultuous affair with Tommie Cluverius.Tommie, an ambitious young lawyer, is the pride and joy of his family and the polar opposite of his brother Willie, a quiet, humble farmer. Though both men loved Lillie, it’s Tommie’s reckless affair that thrusts his family into the spotlight. With Lillie dead, Willie must decide how far to trust Tommie, and whether he ever understood him at all. Told through accumulating revelations, Tommie’s story finally ends in a riveting courtroom climax.
Review: Based on a true murder mystery, The Reservoir presents an intriguing case that unfolds or rather, is encountered much like a detective might expect to experience during a real investigation. Through the uncovering, characters, events and suspicions arise and often take on new meaning and point in various directions. At varying points in the story, the innocent appear guilty, and the guilty, innocent. Many plausible scenarios develop making it difficult to guess what the truth, if any, will ever be revealed. By the end, you'll wonder if the conclusion is sincere or have you been mislead to believe an acceptable truth? Much like real-life, nothing is certain and it can be a murky business unveiling the responsible. The Reservoir will leave you questioning who is to blame in this tragic event. It seems circumstance, gender, class and human nature all have a hand in driving the plot to its conclusion.
*ARC provided by Other Press courtesy of Netgalley