Best for … thriller fans

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne (Sphere, £12.99)

There's a lot of competition in the thriller market, but this is one of the real standouts of the summer, packed with eerie suspense and mesmerising imagery that will have you hooked from the first page.

Helena was born two years after her teenage mother was kidnapped and taken prisoner by the man that the media would later crown The Marsh King.

Together mother and daughter spent more than a decade as captives, living in a run-down cabin deep within the wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The narrative begins in the present day. Helena has carved an anonymous new life for herself. She is married, has daughters of her own and is happily running an artisan jam-making business.

That idyllic existence is shattered when a radio bulletin reveals that her father, incarcerated for his crimes, has pulled a brutal escape act during a prison transfer and is on the run.

This is a man who knows how to hunt and survive off the land. He can melt into the woods and simply vanish. Yet, there is one person who knows how The Marsh King's mind ticks: the daughter he raised in his image.

What follows is a clever twist on the classic tale of cat and mouse as Helena and her father criss-cross the brooding landscape in search of each other, revenge and salvation.

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips (Doubleday, £12.99)

Already optioned for a big-screen adaptation, produced by Margot Robbie, there was an impressive buzz about Fierce Kingdom long before any copies actually landed in bookshops.

The action unfolds over three hours when a mother and her young son are caught up in a mass shooting while on a day out at the zoo.

In a story packed with knife-edge tension and spine-tingling moments, they become embroiled in a deadly game of hide and seek with the gunmen, in which survival is the ultimate prize.

Best for … laughs

Party Girls Die In Pearls by Plum Sykes (Bloomsbury, £12.99)

Set against the affluent backdrop of Oxford University circa 1985, Party Girls Die In Pearls marks the first in a new series from Bergdorf Blondes author Plum Sykes.

This comic murder mystery is like Nancy Drew for grown-ups. The vibe is akin to a less angst-ridden Brideshead Revisited meets a young Downton Abbey, before embarking upon a whimsical, Pimms-fuelled adventure.

Academically bright country bumpkin Ursula Flowerbutton is thrust into a decadent world where posh parties and upper class etiquette is the axis on which all life pivots.

She dreams of writing for the famed student newspaper Cherwell and when the murder of a high-profile member of the in-crowd sends shockwaves through campus, a scoop lands right in her lap.

The intrepid Ms Flowerbutton must unravel the tangled web of suspects to find the killer, while also attempting to navigate her way through the perils and pitfalls of life as a university fresher.

Fun and frothy it is packed with laugh-out-loud moments and wry, whip smart observation.

Theft By Finding, Diaries: Volume One by David Sedaris (Little, Brown, £18.99)

Before David Sedaris began regaling the world with his autobiographical, sardonic and largely self-deprecating essay collections such as Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim, he was writing for an audience of one: his diary.

The US humourist has laid bare those scribblings, albeit in edited and abridged form, in his first volume of diaries covering 25 years from 1977 to 2003.

Theft By Finding is an eye-opening journey through crazy jobs, geographic transitions, family dynamics and homophobic prejudice.

Best for … salving the soul

Shark Drunk: The Art Of Catching A Large Shark from A Tiny Rubber Dinghy In A Big Ocean by Morten Stroksnes (Jonathan Cape, £12.99)

When Morten Stroksnes and Hugo Aasjord go fishing off the remote Lofoten islands in Norway, they are in search of a creature that has attained almost mythical status: the Greenland shark.

Marine biologists recently discovered that this beast of the deep can live for up to 400 years. "The shark we're going to catch could have been swimming slowly around in some dark oceanic abyss well before the Mayflower set sail for the new colony of North Virginia," writes Stroksnes.

The species can grow bigger than a great white, making it the world's largest flesh-eating shark. Its flesh is so laced with toxins that, when consumed, it can be fatal.

Add to that parasite-riddled, luminous green eyes that are said to hypnotise prey and we have ourselves a proper sea monster.

Shark Drunk weaves in folklore, history and science alongside colourful reportage from Stroknes. This enchanting maritime quest is about the power of friendship, derring-do and daring to dream big.

The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman (Ebury, £12.99)

It is an age-old quandary: if we could travel back in time and change the course of history, would we do it?

In this case that is less about killing Hitler or preventing the Titanic from sinking, but rather whether or not Luna can save her mother from the moment that will eventually drive her to suicide.

Set between 2007 and 1977 in Brooklyn, New York, it is a sparkling novel of hope and sacrifice.

Best for … the beach bag

Mad by Chloe Esposito (Michael Joseph, £12.99)

Twins as a plot device have been all the rage in recent years featuring in a raft of titles from The Ice Twins by SK Tremayne to Curtis Sittenfeld's Sisterland and Beside Myself by Ann Morgan.

Despite all that this debut from Chloe Esposito – the first book in her Mad, Bad And Dangerous To Know trilogy – feels deliciously fresh with dark humour and characters that leap off the page (even if she does employ the hackneyed ye olde twin switcheroo).

Alvina Knightly is the quintessential anti-hero blazing through life like a runaway train, aimless and out of control. She lives in a filthy flea pit, watches porn at her office desk and is constantly sloshed.

In stark contrast, her identical twin sister Elizabeth has a handsome, rich Italian husband, adorable baby son and lives in a sprawling Sicilian mansion with swimming pool and fleet of cars parked in the drive.

When Elizabeth invites her to stay and begs a favour, Alvina's interest is piqued. It turns out her sister needs them to swap identities for a few hours, but when a twist of fate allows Alvina to steal Elizabeth's perfect life for good, she seizes the opportunity.

Like a souped-up version of Sweet Valley High, Alvina stumbles into a murky world of mafia connections, murder, secret lovers and stolen artwork.

Seven Stones To Stand Or Fall: A Collection of Outlander Short Stories by Diana Gabaldon (Century, £20)

Droughtlander is almost over. This compendium draws from the world of Diana Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander series featuring many characters that fans have grown to love.

It brings together the author's best novellas, including Virgins, The Space Between and A Plague of Zombies in one volume, alongside two brand new instalments, Besieged and A Fugitive Green.

Mainly set within the 18th-century, the action spans Jamaica, Cuba, France and Canada.

Best for … sport

Three Weeks, Eight Seconds by Nige Tassell (Polaris Publishing, £14.99)

It is one of the most iconic scenes in Tour de France history: Greg LeMond snatching victory from Laurent Fignon on the Champs Elysees in 1989 by a mere eight seconds.

After three weeks and more than 2,000 miles, this time gap remains the smallest margin that the race has ever been won by.

Yet, long before the Tour reached its dramatic climax with a time trial through the streets of Paris, LeMond and Fignon had waged battle on the roads and mountains across France, the hallowed yellow jersey switching back and forth with no more than 53 seconds ever separating the two.

Adding to the jaw-dropping spectacle was the fact that LeMond's body was still riddled with more than 30 shotgun pellets from a shooting accident two years previously.

Nige Tassell has gathered first-hand accounts from riders, team bosses, commentators, journalists and family members – with Pedro Delgado, Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche among the big name interviewees – as he brings this remarkable story to life.

Scottish cycling fans will enjoy the chapter on stage 10 from Cauterets to Superbagneres involving a high-octane tussle between Delgado and a certain Robert Millar (now known as Philippa York).

Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth (Bloomsbury, £16.99)

The fearless women known as "swimming suffragettes" are celebrated in this wonderful book charting feminism and social history through the 19th and early 20th centuries.

They include the tenacious Ethelda Bleibtrey who became a three-time Olympic champion in 1920. Bleibtrey was earlier arrested for "nude swimming" after taking off her swimming stockings at a time when it was forbidden to "bare the lower female extremities for bathing".