Diary Of Somebody by Brian Bilston is published in hardback by Picador, £14.99 (ebook £12.99). Available now

Failing at his dead end job and dealing with the breakdown of his relationship, Brian Bilston challenges himself to write a poem every day while he attempts to patch his life back together. What follows is a diary and collection of around 150 poems that develop into a tale of murder mystery. You don't have to be a fan of poetry to enjoy this book - in fact, Bilston pokes fun at rambling and esoteric poets in the form of his pretentious rival, Toby Salt. His daily musings are simple, clever and accessible. In a similar way to Morrissey and John Cooper Clarke, he has the ability to make the mundane both funny and beautiful - whether that's taking out the bins or procrastinating on Twitter. I devoured it from start to finish. A must-read for anyone who is a fan of wordplay, puns, The Smiths and custard creams. 9/10

The Whisper Man by Alex North is published in hardback by Michael Joseph, £12.99 (ebook £7.99). Available now

It has twice been my misfortune to live in an area with a homicidal maniac on the loose. The second time I watched from my bedroom window as grim-faced police officers searched the hedgerows behind my house. Alex North's tightly plotted crime thriller presses all the right buttons for the genre: A world-weary detective with a failed marriage and a drink problem, an ambitious younger officer, departmental politics within the Force. And it's all set in a carefully deracinated Anytown (in this case, it's called Featherbank) that could be anywhere in England. In this highly structured environment we find the courage to look upon evil. Yet knowing how abruptly a real community goes into self-imposed lockdown once a body is discovered, I was not entirely convinced by a novel that depends in places for its chill factor upon the protagonist's inability to remember if he has locked the front door. 8/10

The Body Lies by Jo Baker is published in hardback by Doubleday, £12.99 (ebook £7.99). Available now

A random act of city violence on a pregnant woman by a stranger, opens this sinister tale. From then on, death stalks its pages. In an attempt to escape the reminders of her assault in London, a young novelist moves north with her son to take up a creative writing university post. Eager to please and overworked, she finds herself in the thrall of a mysterious student who claims to only write the truth. But as their lives entwine, she realises there may be a more troubling reality lurking within his fiction that could lead her into further danger. This is a book that asks questions about the role of art, and the terrifying consequences when you become the subject of somebody else's imagination. And what could be seen as a slight over-fixation on the craft of writing, can be overlooked in a read as thrilling as this. 6/10


Apollo 11: The Inside Story by David Whitehouse is published in paperback by Icon Books, £15.75 (ebook £7.91). Available now

In Apollo 11, former BBC Science Correspondent Daniel Whitehouse presents a sober retelling of the events that led humankind to put a man on the moon. Whitehouse attempts to recapture some of the heady paranoia and intense competition of the Cold War by switching between the American and Soviet perspectives. However, the book is at its most successful when Whitehouse gets out of the way of its protagonists, letting the astronauts and cosmonauts offer their own verbatim accounts of their often perilous - and occasionally fatal - missions. The real strength of this book is its tribute to the human qualities of these men (and they are all men, with the exception of the brief but gripping story of one female cosmonaut), who were willing to sacrifice so much. The tragedy is that for the politicians who encouraged these missions, the space race was little more than a propaganda exercise. 6/10


The Paper And Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie is published in paperback by Hodder Children's Books, £7.99 (ebook £4.99). Available now

Based around a group of friends The Paper And Hearts Society is a more literary-style, modern Famous Five book. Blogger and booktuber Lucy Powrie introduces her characters in this fabulous series opener, with our hero Tabby, who isn't like everyone else, and she knows it. Her constant self-talk and checking to make sure she fits in is bringing her down. The one place she feels herself is when she is reading, hunkered down with a good book. While staying with her gran, Tabby finds an advert for a new book club, second guessing herself she turns up to a meeting. Fellow members Olivia, Cassie, Ed and Henry have been friends for a long time, and Tabby holds herself back on the outskirts of the group. Why doesn't she feel worthy of being with them, and what, more importantly, is she hiding from them and herself? Powrie has created a cracking book full of nuance, featuring so many of the problems today's teens are facing. 8/10