The Reservoir
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The Reservoir

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  817 ratings  ·  175 reviews
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 shado...more
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Published June 21st 2011 by Other Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
We'll never know if the real Tommie Cluverius killed his cousin Lillie. Available records make convincing arguments for both guilt and innocence. John Milliken Thompson has taken the bare bones of a real case from 1885 and filled in the meat of the story using his imagination and thorough research.

The body of a pregnant girl is found floating in a reservoir in Richmond, Virginia. The immediate assumption is suicide by a girl in trouble. But when the girl is identified as Lillian Madison, people...more
Lou
There is is a noose waiting, waiting to tighten on a neck. That neck better be the killer of one stirred heart of a girl an expectant mother.
Stirred hearts, love and friendship. Many hearts wavered by one rather beautiful empty Heart, a web of family intrigue.
Justice is the key, the good should rise above the evil ideally as the common rule.
This story is one to be talked about for many years to come one I hold it highly up there with the greats of Human struggle, greats like 'To Kill a Mockingbi
...more
Trish
The Reservoir is a debut novel and mystery drawn from a true story that was the sensation of 1885 in Richmond, VA. A young, unmarried, pregnant woman is drowned in the city reservoir, presumably by her paramour: a young lawyer on his way up who also happens to be her cousin. Newspaper records of the time whipped up a frenzied appreciation of the scandal among townspeople, who flocked to attend the trial. The accused was gifted in many ways…he could write well and spoke with conviction; he kept...more
Carol
Apr 19, 2011 Carol rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carol by: Kate Henderson, Editor, Other Press
Shelves: fiction
Recently I attended The BooksontheNightstand Reading Retreat in Manchester, Vermont where I had the opportunity to meet and listen to author John Milliken Thompson talk about his forthcoming book, The Reservoir. If I hadn't heard John speak, The Reservoir might not have made it into my hands nor onto to our book shelves. What's the word? fate, serendipity, what ever you call it...I'm pleased I had the opportunity to read this excellent novel.

The Reservoir is being pitched as a mystery and that i...more
Lou
There is is a noose waiting, waiting to tighten on a neck. That neck better be the killer of one stirred heart of a girl an expectant mother.

Stirred hearts, love and friendship.

Many hearts wavered by one rather beautiful empty Heart, a web of family intrigue.

Justice is the key, the good should rise above the evil ideally as the common rule.

This story is one to be talked about for many years to come one I hold it highly up there with the greats of Human struggle, greats like 'To Kill a Mockingbir...more
Mary Ronan Drew
I no longer remember where I heard about this novel or what it was that made me want to read it. In any case, I requested it from the library and today I sat down to give it the Nancy Pearl treatment, reading the first 35 pages or so and expecting to then make a note in my database as to why I didn’t want to bother reading the whole book.

But it caught me. The story is based on the death of a young woman in Richmond, Virginia, in 1885. The author has researched the case in newspapers and other ma...more
Paul
May 13, 2011 Paul rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paul by: BOTNS Retreat
The body of a young pregnant woman is found floating in a reservoir in 1885 Richmond, Virginia. At first thought to be a suicide, the local police along with the coroner soon decide that this case did involve murder. Soon, a young man is charged and the action proceeds from this decision through a courtroom trial. Hmmm . . . a typical courtroom procedural, you say? Well, no. The thrust of this novelized version of an actual case is really to portray the country (and especially the South) twenty...more
Erin Forson
The Reservoir
John N. Thompson
Released June 21, 2011
The Story Line
Lillian Madison, a young, beautiful, unwed, and pregnant woman is found dead and floating in the reservoir. From the opening pages of the novel, the reader witnesses Thomas Cluverius stealing away from the scene of Lillian’s death, and thus begins the drama. At first, the reader may think they are to embark on a journey into the mind of a killer. Not so. Instead, this post-civil war drama is set mostly in the jailhouse and the cour...more
Marie desJardins
I really did not like this book. I didn't particularly enjoy it as I was reading it, but I stuck it out because I wanted to know what had really happened and why Tommie didn't want to talk about it. (view spoiler)...more
Julie
"On March 14, 1885, a body is floating in the old Marshall Reservoir, in a light snow, and then under a waxing moon." From its opening sentence, The Reservoir draws in the reader with harsh details rendered in shapely language. This is historical fiction at its entertaining, dramatic, and authentic best.

Historian and short story writer John Milliken Thompson read a paragraph in a history of Richmond, VA that sparked his curiosity. His research took him deep into 1880's Virginia, into the death...more
Chris
Fingers crossed that GR doesn't crash again as I'm writing this review!

First off, thank you to Katie Henderson of Other Press for handing me an uncorrected proof of this book at the BOTNS retreat. (She heard me whisper during Thompson’s talk that the book sounded really good!) And it was. Thompson is a gifted Southern writer and old fashioned, too. Slowly and methodically, he wove a story of guilt and innocence of a young attorney and left the reader wondering.

But this reader wasn’t buying Tom...more
Tj
*Review first appeared at Skull Salad Reviews*

John Milliken Thompson’s debut historical mystery novel, The Reservoir (Other Press, 2011), starts off very promising. We are introduced to a pair of workers at a reservoir who find the body of a young pregnant woman floating lifeless in the water. This is a great set-up for a moody, atmospheric story. We have one character – one of the workers who found the body – fall into infatuation with this young lifeless woman. He takes some items from her tha...more
Barb
This is a bit of a twist on the murder mystery. The first chapter opens on a pregnant Lillie Walker's dead body floating in the reservoir, then a few pages later we are taken back to the previous evening. Tommie Culverius is looking down on her in the water trying to puzzle out what to do with her hat and gloves.

I thought I knew what happened, it seemed obvious, but then John Milliken Thompson made the straight-forward a bit more complicated and gave Tommie Culverius a voice to tell the reader...more
Amy
The Reservoir is a historical novel that is built around a true story that took place in Richmond, Virginia in 1885. It is obvious that the author has done exhaustive research into the original case and into Richmond, VA in 1885. He brings both alive in vivid detail! Goodreads describes this book as "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." This is a re...more
Michelle
The Reservoir is one of those fascinating true-life mysteries that is fleshed out through fiction. A woman named Lillian was truly found dead in a reservoir in Richmond, Virigina and Tommie Cluverius did stand trial for her murder. Yet, the truth is stranger than fiction, as Mr. Thompson shares with his readers through this intriguing look at 1885 Richmond and a city that was struggling to recover its dignity after the end of the Civil War.

The key to the success behind The Reservoir is the metic...more
Sherri
Guilty or Innocent? Which version is the truth? Who is the liar? The author takes a real case from the 1800s and turns it into a novel. I hesitate to call it a mystery because it is never fully solved.

The basic parameters of the story are that a woman is found drowned in a reservoir in Richmond, Virginia. What initially appeared to be a suicide, quickly turned to a murder investigation. The woman, Lily, is 8 months pregnant. Her cousin, Thomas is eventually charged with murder. The book delves...more
Becky
Based a real 1880's court case, a pregnant woman is found dead in a reservoir outside of Richmond, Virginia. From the start, the finger is pointed at her cousin Tommie, with whom she was romantically interested. The first half of the novel is interesting, but as the novel continues, the trial becomes dull - and no new information is given to the reader. It is basically like reading the same novel twice, once from the character's point of view and then hearing it all again in court. When the nove...more
Sara
I was able to get this book through netgalley. Based on a true story.

One early Spring morning in Richmond, VA, in the year of 1885, a body of a young pregnant woman was found in the reservoir. The police believe she committed suicide but curious clues at the scene start to make them think otherwise.

I had a hard time putting this book down. It was so interesting and it made me want to read the court case that the book was based on. The author wrote the book beautifully. It's a amazing to see how...more
Blair
I was really excited about this book (setting in Richmond, mystery based on fact) and the first 1/4 of it seemed to live up to my mind's hype. There was just something lacking in it - character development maybe? You would read a page and feel like you knew who you were reading about and then the next page would throw you off. It was slow-moving, not a whole lot happened and I was left feeling unsettled and like I'd only read half a story. Maybe that was the author's intention, I don't know. It...more
Darcia Helle
The Reservoir is a well researched, intriguing story based on a real crime back in the late 1800s. I found the story interesting but I just couldn't get lost in it. The writing kept me slightly removed. I felt like I was being told a great story, rather than experiencing one. Also, the author jumps back and forth in time without any clear indication. I often found myself reading a scene I thought to be in the present, only to realize several paragraphs later that we'd jumped back into the past....more
Laureen Hyman
It kept my interest and it was entertaining to read about Richmond, VA, when it was still a new city, but the last half of the book dragged a bit and it was pure speculation about what happened with the crime itself.
Lady
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pam
http://iwriteinbooks.wordpress.com/20...

Our story dawns on an 1880′s Virginia, as a reservoir eployee discovers a gruesomely displayed young woman in the water. Lacking any form of identity, her case hits the papers as a tragedy but not one with sinister ties. Assumed an accident and then a suicide, the death is, at first, not the subject of foul play.

Soon, though, between the meddling media and the word of a few questionable souls, blame is turned upon the victim’s cousin, Tommie, a bright and...more
Jenn (Booksessed)
This book was a complete surprise for me; I figured that I would probably like it because I love all things historical. I was not expecting this book to blow me away. It had so many elements to it that I would never have thought you could put in one book: the historical aspect, a gothic like feel, romance and courtroom drama. The ending was a purposefully left vague for the reader, which usually doesn’t work for me AT ALL, but now I can’t stop thinking about this book. Was Tommie guilty or innoc...more
Shana
Usually, I really enjoy true crime novels. Out of my Vine selections something about "The Reservoir" really piqued my interest. Maybe it was because the story is set in 1885. Perhaps, it was because the mystery is about a pregnant dead girl found floating in the town reservoir. I'd never heard of this story before I read about it in "The Reservoir".

There are three main characters in this novel: Tommie, his brother Willie, and their cousin Lillie. On March 14,1885 a body is found floating in the...more
Erica Spangler
Title: The Reservoir

Author: John Milliken Thompson

Publisher: Other Press

Rating: 4 Shots of Espresso (Red Eye)


Southern literature that alludes to back country brawls and family duels have become my guilty pleasures since reading Southern literature from the last three years. Whether the characters are gouging eyes out or the characters are lawyers on trial for murder, I am right there reading the drama until it dries up. And fortunately, the drama has yet to do so…

John Milliken Thompson’s debut n...more
Amy Meyer
The Reservoir by John Milliken Thompson


ISBN: 978-159051444-3
Pages: 368
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Publisher: Other Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction; Historical Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5


Book 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...more
Teresa Lukey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caitlin
[Note: I'd give this one 3.5 stars if I could.] The Reservoir took me a while to read...I found the beginning very slow. But overall, I wound up enjoying the story as a detailed and intriguing blend of historical fiction, crime, and courtroom drama. In Richmond, Virginia in the year 1885, a young pregnant woman is discovered floating in the city reservoir one morning. Investigators soon uncover the woman, Lillie's, past, including her stormy affair with Tommie Cluverius, who becomes the primary...more
Susan
"...all human affairs are matters of doubt." So says one of the prosecuting attorneys during closing arguments in the sensational 1885 murder trial of Cluverius v. Commonwealth, which author John Milliken Thompson used as the true basis for this engrossing murder mystery. He says in his notes at the end of the book that he came across a description of the trial in a book on the history of Richmond, Virginia, and was so intrigued he had to dig deeper. Thompson says he integrated much of his resea...more
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John Milliken Thompson is the author of America’s Historic Trails and Wildlands of the Upper South, and coauthor of The National Geographic Almanac of American History. His articles have appeared in Smithsonian, Washington Post, Islands,and other publications, and his short stories have been published in Louisiana Literature, South Dakota Review, and many other literary journals. He has lived in t...more
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