INDEPENDENCE SQUARE by AD Miller is published in hardback by Harvill Secker, £14.99 (ebook £9.99).

AD Miller's Man Booker Prize-shortlisted debut novel Snowdrops was an energetic tale of betrayal and murky morals set in Moscow. The action shifts west to Kiev for the follow-up to 2015's The Faithful Couple. Against the backdrop of the Orange Revolution of 2004, Independence Square is a political thriller charting the diplomatic machinations aimed at averting tragedy as the Ukrainian people rise up to protest the result of a controversial presidential election. These events are described in flashback as, over a decade later in London, former aspiring ambassador Simon Davey grapples with a shock reunion on the Tube, resurrecting painful memories of his apparent double-crossing in Kiev. A fine education in the details of an uprising which caused a ripple effect across eastern Europe that is still being felt today, the human element of the saga is more than compelling enough to make this novel digestible in a few sittings. 7/10

THE FOUNDLING by Stacey Halls is published in hardback by Manilla Press, £12.99 (ebook £6.47).

Shrimp seller Bess reluctantly takes her newborn daughter to London's Foundling Hospital to give her a chance of survival. She immediately goes back to walking the streets selling scoops of seafood but dreams one day she will be able to give her child a home. A short carriage ride away, Alexandra lives in a comfortable house which she is frightened to leave. The two seem unlikely to meet, but Stacey Halls' second novel weaves the women's lives together against the backdrop of 18th Century London, dividing her story into sections, each with one of the them as narrator. The squalor, grime and drudgery of Bess' world is brought to life in this easy reading story, although the character only really comes to life halfway through the novel. Until then she seems a little too good to be true, while cold Alexandra is the more intriguing of the pair. The plot heats up in the second half and Bess shows her steel while Alexandra reveals what's behind her hard shell. 7/10

STRANGE HOTEL by Eimear McBride is published in hardback by Faber & Faber, £12.99 (ebook £7.99).

This may be a slip of a novel, but it requires a huge amount of mental effort and rigorous reading, if you're to avoid being totally overwhelmed and driven to abandon it after the first page. Strange Hotel focuses on a nameless woman. We don't know her age, what she does, or why she travels so much, and never encounter her outside the confines of a series of hotel rooms around the world. You slowly piece together the fact that sometimes years, possibly even decades, have passed between each new room, as she grapples with the aftermath of casual sexual encounters, the loss of someone beloved, and seemingly considers leaping from her hotel balconies. Her interior monologues are both fraught and laboured, leaving you listless and free of empathy as a reader. The prose and structure - sometimes the sentences seem to have been modelled on Yoda's delivery - are demanding, without being all that enlightening. Individual and ambitious, yes, but it's not overly enjoyable. 5/10

A BIT OF A STRETCH: THE DIARIES OF A PRISONER by Chris Atkins is published in hardback by Atlantic Books, £16.99 (ebook £6.29).

A Bit of a Stretch chronicles film-maker Chris Atkins' time spent in prison following a five-year sentence for tax fraud.

Atkins walks you through all aspects of a crumbling, failing prison system and provides a very real day-to-day experience as a prisoner, including cell-mate friendships (and conflict), navigating the mind-blowingly confusing app systems for education and job opportunities, and the desperate mental health and drug needs that he finds are rife among the prisoners. This depressingly addictive page-turner forces you to think about the majority of people in prison without the family connections, money and education that Atkins has. Some sensible suggestions for reform at the end of the book offer a glimmer of hope for the future of the system. This is a must-read for every voter that shines a light on a terribly neglected and vulnerable prison population hidden away by 'criminal justice'. 9/10

WHERE THE WORLD TURNS WILD by Nicola Penfold is published in paperback by Little Tiger, £6.99 (ebook £4.74).

Nicola Penfold's first novel is a middle-grade adventure story with an important lesson. It tells the story of Juniper Greene, who lives with her brother Bear in a walled city where nature has been banned. This is because years before, a group known as the Rewilders created a man-made disease that affected humans but not nature. The Rewilders were protesting the deadly polluting habits of mankind. As infants, Bear and Juniper were separated from their parents, who as far as they know now live somewhere out in the wild, in the one place where humans have survived outside of the cities. When the secret of the children's resistance to the disease is discovered, they must flee merciless scientists to try and track down their mother. The journey will make or break them. This is a real page-turner, with new threats and twists on every page. It would make a great series! The story is sad but also inspiring, with a note of hope at the end. 9/10