Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Julie's Review: The Reservoir

Summary: 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. Based on a true story, The Reservoir centers on a guilty and passionate love triangle composed of two very different brothers and one young, naive girl hiding an unspeakable secret. A novel of lust, betrayal, justice, and revenge, The Reservoir ultimately probes the question of whether we can really know the hearts and minds of others, even of those closest to us. ~otherpress.com

Review: The Reservoir has received a lot of buzz by bloggers and when my co-worker offered it up to me to read, I took him up on it. While I found the novel to be an interesting take on a true life case, I'm not sure I ever connected with it. I know I certainly didn't connect with Tommie but I'm pretty certain that was the idea. Even after finishing the book I'm fairly uncertain about what really happened that night out at the Richmond Reservoir. Again, I think that's pretty much the point.

What I did like was the time period setting. I loved that it was set in the late 1800s and I loved how Richmond was becoming a bustling city. Mr. Thompson got the language and the mood right. He wrote the book in a such a way that you felt you were really a spectator to the whole story.

Tommie as a narrator isn't exactly reliable or particularly honest but I'm not sure who else could have to told the story since it really was his to tell. I didn't particularly like Lillie either, she seemed to be a pathological liar. I never trusted what came out of her mouth.

I enjoyed the first part of the book much more than the 2nd or trial part of the book. I felt that the trial took up too much of the book, when I would have rather more flashbacks to his relationship with Lillie and with Willie.

For fans of historical fiction and particularly those who like legal cases, you should pick up The Reservoir.

Final Take: 3.75/5

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