The Reserve is hailed as “love story, part murder-mystery, set on the cusp of the second world war” as claimed by the book jacket. I had already read and loved Banks’ Cloudsplitter, so I was eager to read another book by the author. The story opened with the arrogant Jordan Banks, architect, visiting the wealthy Cole family in their Adirondack home. The characters bored me, quite frankly, and the storyline didn’t even give me the slightest interest until page 82, when we find out that Vanessa Cole is a lunatic.
Unfortunately, even that wasn’t enough to save the story for me. And, to make matters worse, the Spanish Civil War and Hindenburg flashbacks didn’t work here at all. They seem thrown in haphazardly in a deliberate attempt to point out contrasts in the characters. Instead, it just seemed like you were watching television and someone changed the channel for a moment. Overall, a disappointing read.
2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2008