Look Out For… Bodies Of Water by V.H. Leslie and Smoke by Dan Vyleta

vhlLook Out For… … Bodies Of Water by V.H. Leslie

“V.H. Leslie is one of the most talented writers the genre has.”

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.

Why We’re Excited About This Book:

V.H. Leslie proved how original and powerful a writer she was with last year’s debut collection Skein & Bone (from Undertow). Now she’s back for an encore with her first novel, the intriguing sounding Bodies Of Water.

Many of Leslie’s finest stories revolve around a central image or theme, and Bodies Of Water adapts the same technique to a longer length. Based around connected ideas of the Victorian water-cure , the Thames and drowned women, this looks to be another thematically rich and brilliantly written work.

V.H. Leslie is one of the most talented writers the genre has; check out this further evidence of her talent as soon as humanly possible.

Bodies Of Water is out on 19 May 2016 from Salt.

smokeLook Out For… Smoke by Dan Vyleta

“In the world of Dan Vyleta’s Smoke, sin is visible.”

Smoke opens in a private boarding school near Oxford. It is within the closeted world of this school that the sons of the wealthy and well-connected are trained as future leaders. Among their number are two boys, Thomas and Charlie. On a trip to London, a forbidden city shrouded in smoke and darkness, the boys will witness an event that will make them question everything they have been told about the past. For there is more to the world of smoke, soot and ash than meets the eye and there are those who will stop at nothing to protect it.

Why We’re Excited About This Book:

“’The laws of Smoke are complex. Not every lie will trigger it. A fleeting thought of evil may pass unseen. Next thing you know its smell is in your nose. There is no more hateful smell in the world than the smell of Smoke…”

What if people’s sins were visible, and you could see their anger and lusts?

This is the intriguing premises for Dan Vyleta’s new novel, Smoke. It is set in Victorian London, an appropriate setting for a story about sin and respectability. But this is an alternative history of the Victorian era–in this world, sin is visible as smoke on the body and soot on the clothes. Not that this has made society more equal. Far from it: the wealthy are trained from childhood to control their Smoke so they can appear faultless. Spotless. Meanwhile the working class have no choice but for their every vice and defect to be made visible…

With one of the most original and intriguing concepts for a story we’ve seen for a long time, Smoke looks set to be a big hit.

Smoke is out on 24 May 2016 from Weidenfeld & Nicolson.


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