Flamingo, £9.99

Former London bus-driver turned novelist and the author of Booker-shortlisted 'The Restraint of Beasts', Magnus Mills' latest offering is a dry, witty, parable-like tale.

Mary Petrie's arrival heralds the beginning of change. Standing in front of the tin house with her trunk, her mirror and her vanity case, she had no idea what it was like to live in a house made of tin in the middle of a deserted plain, but she learned.

Before her unannounced arrival the nearest neighbours lived about a mile away - just out of sight. Simon Painter, Steve Treacle, and Philip Sibling also lived by themselves in tin houses. Only Michael Hawkins lived further out - as if "further out" was of some significance.

But then, one by one, Simon, Steve and Philip packed up their little tin houses and were gone. Simon was the first to go - he wanted to be closer to Michael Hawkins, according to Steve and Philip. There was also an increased number of travellers in the area, all heading towards the west. But just what is it that attracts everyone to Michael Hawkins and would it be right to move closer to him too?

Told in the first person, the reader never even discovers the name of the narrator in Magnus Mills' 'Three to See the King'. Despite this, questions like 'who is Michael Hawkins?' will keep you page turning to the end.

Joanne Ahern