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“I really thought I would like this book. I was interested because it took place not only in Richmond, VA, but also King & Queen and King William counties, also in Virginia. The library that I work for serves those counties and I knew I would encounter places familiar to me. I usually enjoy...”see full review » see other reviews »
“I really thought I would like this book. I was interested because it took place not only in Richmond, VA, but also King & Queen and King William counties, also in Virginia. The library that I work for serves those counties and I knew I would encounter places familiar to me. I usually enjoy learning local history through fiction.
I am not sure why I did not find this story more compelling. It was told well and the premise was interesting. What exactly did happen at the Richmond reservoir? How did Lillian die? What would happen in the trial? All those questions and many more should have made this story suspenseful. I never really got into the book. Given the number of people who have liked this book, the problem must be with me.
For whatever reason, I never learned to care about the characters in this book. The only thing that kept me reading was the hope that I would eventually want to know more about the story and the people in it.
I recommend this book to those who like historical fiction. If you are interested in this story, you should read some of the other reviews on this site.”
“A pregnant woman who has drowned or committed suicide is found in the Reservoir. Two sets of footprints and a small gold key are the only clues to what has happened. Two brothers, a lawyer and a farmer, who both love her come under suspicion. This story, based on a real case from the late 1890s, weaves fiction & non-fiction together seamlessly for an interesting tale. ”Sandra B wrote this review Monday, May 27, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Based on a true-life case, this is not so much a murder mystery as it is psychological suspense. On an early spring morning in 1885, the body of a young, pregnant woman is found floating in the town's reservoir. At first the conclusion is that she died by misadventure or possibly killed herself but as various clues are discovered it begins to look more like foul play. The body is identified as Lillie Madison and a suspect is found in the person of Tommie Cluverius, a young attorney and cousin to the deceased. We eventually hear 3 different stories that all lead to the death of Lillie. The author notes that he borrowed freely from the trial transcripts for the actual court proceedings and I thought that character-wise, the language used and the social situations were spot-on for the post Civil War south. I found this to be an interesting first novel and only wish that I really knew what happened rather than believing I know what happened based on the conflicting outcomes. ”Beverly R. wrote this review Tuesday, April 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I ran across a paperback of this true crime novel in the Library of Virginia It’s a historical novel based on a true murder which occurred in the Richmond reservoir back in 1885, the murder of one Lillian Madison. Thomas Cluverius, her cousin from out in King William, was eventually arrested and hanged for her murder; however, the facts, to this day, are still not clear as to whether Lillian killed herself, being eight months pregnant and unmarried (allegedly with Cluverius’s baby) or whether Cluverius drowned her in the reservoir in an act of desperation to save what he believed his life was meant to be (a life which did not include marriage to Lillian nor fatherhood to an unwanted child). Reading local lore is always interesting, and seeing photographs of the individuals in question online and reading the RTD articles about the case were very interesting experiences. The victim, Lillian, is even buried in the same cemetery as my grandmother. Very good novel, well written for what little factual evidence besides court documents that Milliken Thompson had to go on.”Alethea wrote this review Tuesday, December 11, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. The story is good and draws you in quickly. The characters are well-developed and interesting. ”karmakat wrote this review Saturday, December 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Didn't finish before book club. ”Amy H wrote this review Saturday, November 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Reading Group Choices”Linda B wrote this review Wednesday, October 31, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“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.”Verna L wrote this review Saturday, July 14, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Disgusting details, brr...”Josée wrote this review Monday, March 26, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No