Claire Fuller

Penguin, £8.99

As Frances Jellico lies dying from a disease that’s wasting away her body and mind, a vicar hopes to extract a deathbed confession from her concerning something that happened 20 years earlier, in 1969. Frances was cataloguing the garden architecture of a dilapidated country house for its absentee owner when she befriended a young couple, Cara and Peter, who were doing much the same job inside the house. Then aged 39, Frances had been raised by a domineering mother, had never had a boyfriend and found social interaction a challenge. She became besotted with the unselfconscious young couple, drinking, dining and smoking with them late into the night, but their relationship became tainted by lies and spying, accompanied by some spooky goings-on in the house. In twin narratives split between 1969 and 1989, Fuller restlessly explores and fills out her central themes in a suspenseful psychological thriller shot through with a sinister, claustrophobic mood and touches of gothic horror.

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Elsa Morante

Pushkin Press, £9.99

Morante had a difficult childhood with difficult parents, and her frustration, angst and passion spill out into this novel, originally from 1957 and republished in a new translation by Ann Goldstein, translator of Morante fan Elena Ferrante. Arturo is a boy living in a former monastery on the island of Procida, in the Bay of Naples, which is dominated by an enormous prison, just before the Second World War. His mother is dead and his father pays him little attention, but Arturo worships him anyway. His father is also a dreadful misogynist, and when he brings home a new wife he and Arturo treat her appallingly. But then Arturo realises he’s in love. Morante’s characters feel their emotions very intensely and profoundly, and her prose is suitably melodramatic and splendidly baroque (though some would call it overheated), well-suited to writing about a solitary teenager who has learned about life from books and isn’t quite ready for its complexities.

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Benjamin Myers

Elliott & Thompson, £9.99

Despite having spent only a couple of days in Yorkshire’s Calder Valley, I can see how the area would cast such a powerful spell on Benjamin Myers. He moved from London to Mytholmroyd a decade ago to live in an old terraced house beneath Scout Rock, a crag which became an obsession. He walked there compulsively and “learn[ed] to be free”, seemingly awakening to the poetry of his surroundings. In this memoir, with its interludes of field notes, photographs and poetry, Myers explores the landscape of Yorkshire, its flora, its fauna and its people, and seems continually trying to coax secrets from it, things that will tell its inhabitants who they truly are. It’s our old friend “alchemical writing about liminal spaces” again, making it a nice companion volume to Will Ashon’s brilliant Epping Forest book, Strange Labyrinth, and not necessarily what one would expect from a man whose burning ambition is to write a musical about Sham 69.