Shortlisted for Best Novella in the 2017 British Fantasy Awards
Den of Geek Top Books of 2016
Ginger Nuts of Horror Top 20 Books of 2016
After ministering to fallen women in Victorian London, Evelyn has suffered a nervous breakdown and finds herself treated by the Water Doctors in the imposing Wakewater House, a hydropathy sanatorium.
Years later, Wakewater House is renovated into modern apartments and Kirsten moves in, fresh from a break up and eager for the restorative calm of the Thames. But her archivist neighbour, Manon, fills her head with the river’s murky past and with those men of science and art who were obsessed with the drowned women who were washed up on its banks.
As Kirsten learns more about Wakewater’s secrets, she becomes haunted by a solitary figure in the river and increasingly desperate to understand what the water wants from her.
‘A gorgeously gothic intrigue, whose watery world draws in and seeps into its heroines and the reader alike.’ —Alison Moore
‘Relishing in its genre coding and richly atmospheric, Bodies of Water is a fascinating debut and demonstrates the promise of V.H. Leslie as a novelist. It's a book for reading by the fire with a blanket ready to draw around yourself as the brilliant chill sets in and takes hold.’ —Becky Lea, Film and Other Assorted Buffery
‘Bodies of Water is a modern Gothic masterpiece, a haunting and moving story filled with rich, tender writing and an ending that manages to be both melancholic and uplifting at the same time, it is a confident start to Leslie's novel writing career.’ —Jim Mcleod, Ginger Nuts of Horror
‘it excels is in its commentary on the treatment of Victorian women as well as its hair-raising and unsettling tone.’ —Erin Hull, The Bookbag
‘Bodies Of Water is a solid article. It’s well-researched and it puts a different spin on a well-used format. It’s got enough of the history that intrigues many people without treading the same path. Recommended.’ —The Worm Hole
‘And, in the end, neither the heart of this book nor the nature of woman can possibly be reached, for to reach such ends would be to destroy them. The book’s ramifications shimmer on – frightful and transcendent in tidal irresistibilities.’ —Dreamcatcher
‘The writing is simply gorgeous, at times lyrical and beautiful in its simplicity, with hints of magical realism/folklore and fantasy and the tension was always present throughout. It is quite a creepy, eerie and very atmospheric read and, for someone who has never liked the water much, a damn scary one at times.’ —Book Magpie
‘✭✭✭✭ Millie remains a haunting presence and influences both outcomes for Evelyn and Kirsten. A real ghostly presence or imagined through some mental disintegration of our protagonists? I’m not quite sure and I don’t think it matters. For some reason that I can’t articulate, I really liked the book, even though it is a million miles from my preferred reading genre.’ —Col’s Criminal Library
‘V.H. Leslie’s fiction builds in intensity, but at the same time possesses a strange, silky kind of calm.’ —Conrad Williams, author of The Unblemished
‘The strange and vivid worlds in V.H. Leslie’s stories have a nightmarish fairy tale quality to them.’ —Alison Moore, author of The Lighthouse
‘Tales of quiet unease, enigmatic, beautifully told, varied and darkly poetic. Your trepidation with a V.H. Leslie story is not that you might be disappointed but rather the thrill of just how good it is going to be.’ —Stephen Volk, author of Whitstable