The North Water, by Ian McGuire

‘The North Water’, by Ian McGuire

Both man and beast face slaughter in this visceral tale of whaling and murder. Review by Malcolm Forbes

'Viral' n by Lydia Winter

‘Viral’, by Helen FitzGerald

Review by Lydia Winter

illustration by Cat O’Neil
©Cat O’Neil

‘Gold Fame Citrus’, by Claire Vaye Watkins

A distinctive new voice describes how life and love — of a sort — can be sustained even in a drought-blighted world. Review by Jonathan Lee

‘Under the Udala Trees’, by Chinelo Okparanta

A powerful story of same-sex relationships and intransigent religiosity in Nigeria. Review by Lucy Popescu

'Sea Lovers', by Valerie Martin

‘Sea Lovers’, by Valerie Martin

Unnerving stories of sinister animals and human metamorphoses. Review by Isabel Berwick

Front cover of 'River of Ink', by Paul M. Cooper

‘River of Ink’, by Paul M.M. Cooper

A pampered court poet must play a dangerous game in this heady novel of 13th-century Sri Lanka. Review by Suzi Feay

©Dan Mitchell

‘Shylock is My Name’, by Howard Jacobson

A reimagining of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ is provocatively Jacobsonian. Review by Rebecca Abrams

©Toby Whitebread

‘The Portable Veblen’, by Elizabeth McKenzie

Love, marriage, squirrels, the military-industrial complex — the author packs a lot into her second novel. Review by Sophie Elmhirst

‘Exposure’, by Helen Dunmore

A family becomes enmeshed in cold war spy games in this distinctive take on a familiar genre. Review by Catherine Taylor

‘The Automobile Club of Egypt’, by Alaa Al Aswany

The Egyptian writer’s latest novel lacks the political bite of his debut ‘The Yacoubian Building’. Review by Azadeh Moaveni