As it turns out, Thompson’s story is based on an actual event that occurred in Richmond, Virginia, in 1885. Thompson, an historian and author of three nonfiction books, put his research skills to use in developing the basic plot of his first novel. But it is his skill in creating the unknown personal details and motivations of those involved in the case that makes this a very fine debut novel.
When Lillie was found drowned in a Richmond city reservoir, all the evidence pointed toward suicide. When it was discovered that the unmarried young woman was far along in a pregnancy, that ruling seemed even more certain. Soon enough, however, evidence indicating that Lillie had not come to the reservoir alone was discovered – and, by the time her body had been identified, there was enough physical evidence to see investigators in search of her killer.
The Cluverious brothers, Tommie and Willie, could hardly be more different. Willie is a quiet man who wants little more from life than to make a success of his farm; Tommie, on the other hand, has always been the ambitious one. Neither of the brothers has yet achieved his goals, but 23-year-old Tommie is certainly heading in the right direction, having become associated with a respected Richmond law firm. The one thing the brothers seem to have in common, other than their shared childhood, is their longtime infatuation with Lillie, a cousin of theirs.
|John Milliken Thompson|
John Milliken Thompson’s debut novel is a good one that should appeal to fans of historical fiction and crime fiction alike.
Rated at: 4.0
(Review Copy provided by Publisher)