The Reservoir by John Milliken Thompson

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 9 Critic 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 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
   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.

About John Milliken Thompson

See more books from this Author
John Milliken Thompson is the author of The Reservoir (Other Press, 2011). 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 other literary journals. He holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Arkansas and lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Author Residence: Charlottesville, VA

Author Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Published June 21, 2011 by Other Press. 365 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Reservoir

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

In 1885 Virginia, Tommie and Willie Cluverius have grown to manhood together in the house of their Aunt Jane only to choose far different paths in life.

Apr 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Reservoir

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In flashbacks, Thompson reveals the links between Lillian and Tommie, an ambitious, mercurial fledgling lawyer, and Tommie's older brother, Willie, an earnest, steadfast farmer.

Apr 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Reservoir


After discovering that she’s pregnant, Tommie feels his control of the situation slipping away, but that feeling is nothing compared to what his life turns into once Lillie is found dead in the town reservoir, 8 months pregnant.

Aug 17 2011 | Read Full Review of The Reservoir

Mysterious Reviews

Review: The Reservoir, John Milliken Thompson's historical fact-inspired novel, is written in such a style that it not only makes for an interesting read but also takes me back to a time that I have only read about or seen on television.

| Read Full Review of The Reservoir

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

“What are you waiting for, Tommie?

Jun 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Reservoir

ForeWord Reviews

The fluidity of the bonds of brotherhood and faith are examined in John Milliken Thompson’s first novel, The Reservoir, which is based on a true story and focuses on the lives of brothers Tommie and Willie Cluverius in 1885 Richmond, Virginia.

| Read Full Review of The Reservoir

Southern Lit Review

SLR selected John Milliken Thompson’s The Reservoir as the August Read of the Month.

Aug 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Reservoir

Southern Lit Review

The author sets us up as follows: Soon after the corpse of a pregnant young woman, Lillie Madison, is found floating in the Marshall Reservoir, clues lead to the arrest of her cousin, Tommie Cluverius.

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Reservoir

The [TK] Review

What is clear is that the real Tommie was eventually hung for his crime, and the fictional Tommie is not spared the same fate, nor are we.

Jul 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Reservoir

Reader Rating for The Reservoir

An aggregated and normalized score based on 82 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review