From Claire Fuller’s atmospheric novel to Names Of The Women by Jeet Thayil, a classy page-turner by Chris Power and Erin Kelly’s latest, this week’s best new fiction
Claire Fuller Fig Tree £14.99
When they lose their mother Dot, twins Jeanie and Julius realise just how precarious the world she built for them is. At 51, they’ve never left the cottage where they grew up, and while trauma lurks in their past, secrets imperil their future.
Fuller’s eye for detail animates a richly atmospheric take on rural poverty and life on the margins.
Names Of The Women
Jeet Thayil Jonathan Cape £15.99
From the supposed adulteress brought before Jesus to the widow who gave all she could afford, women flit across the pages of the New Testament so fast, you may miss them.
In fleshing out their stories, Thayil sheds absorbing light on a period when women of all classes were disregarded. It is a very simple idea for a novel, but executed with real empathy and aplomb.
A Lonely Man
Chris Power Faber £14.99
A classy page-turner about Robert, an English novelist drawn into a murky tale of Russian political intrigue. It all begins when Robert encounters a fugitive ghostwriter, gone to ground in Berlin after the death of his latest client, an oligarch out to dish dirt on Vladimir Putin.
Unbearably tense, the intricate narrative delivers electric drama as well as thought-provoking reflections on storytelling ethics.
Watch Her Fall
Erin Kelly Hodder & Stoughton £14.99
Kelly’s thriller leads the reader deep into the overheated world of elite ballet. Ava Kirilova is the star of a company run by her father. Inevitably there are those who resent her success.
This starts slowly, immersing the reader in this closed, obsessive world. Then the drama kicks in as twist follows twist, like The Red Shoes rewritten by Patricia Highsmith.