Fallow by Daniel Shand (Sandstone, £8.99)

After Mikey is released from prison, for a terrible crime committed when he was a child, his brother Paul whisks him away from journalists, parole officers and psychologists to hide out in the Scottish countryside. But when they kill a man who’s been bothering them, we realise that Paul isn’t a responsible person to reintroduce Mikey to the world outside prison, and is more likely to get him back into trouble. There are grim portents of disaster from the very beginning, and we can only look on in horror as Paul’s skewed judgement gets them deeper and deeper into it, despite his belief that he’s the sensible one of the pair. Fallow is a tense and suspenseful road trip to damnation which, although it takes an unexpected turn involving a religious cult, doesn’t loosen its grip for the entire duration. Talented Scottish crime writers have been emerging all over the place in recent years, and the Kirkcaldy-born Shand is a welcome addition.

The Great Multi-National Tax Rort by Martin Feil (Scribe, £14.99)

Even before the infamous Panama Papers, we were all aware that the tax avoided by global corporations must run into the trillions – trillions which could have been used by tax-strapped governments. Australian Martin Feil draws on his extensive business experience to explain here how multinational companies go about avoiding tax, mostly with the help of only four giant accounting firms, and are happy to run national branches at a loss year after year. The key to this is what is known as transfer pricing, which is one of Feil’s areas of expertise. “There has never been as destructive a financial blight on global economies as transfer pricing,” he writes, showing not only how it’s done but how it threatens infrastructure the world over. He writes from an Australian perspective, and gets a little technical in places, but it’s a book worth persevering with as it gives a proper sense of the scale of this practice, and its potential consequences.

Before The Feast by Saša Stanišic (Pushkin, £8.99)

Fürstenfelde, a village perched between two German lakes, is in decline. But autumn approaches, so it’s time to prepare for the annual feast. Rural Fürstenfelde may be, but Frau Schwermuth binge-watches Buffy and the apprentice bell-ringer listens to The Streets, so it’s no Brigadoon. Nevertheless, the townsfolk are very connected to the past and aware of the bumpy ride they’ve taken through history. Author Stanišic was born in the former Yugoslavia, and here he becomes the omniscient narrator eavesdropping on the thoughts, memories, folklore and gossip of people whose country was reunified rather than divided. As former citizens of East Germany, the older residents have “looked four political systems in the eye” and have a distinctive world view. Written with healthy wit and mischief, this is more of an ensemble piece of character studies than a straight novel, but the interconnection of their lives makes it bigger than the sum of its parts.