There are better candidates for the role of a modern-day Job than Duncan Neville, but his luck isn't wonderful all the same. Duncan, the protagonist of Widows and Orphans (Arcadia, £14.99), Michael Arditti's ninth novel, is an earnest, good-hearted chap suffering largely for being out of kilter with his time and for never escaping his father's imposing shadow.
You do not have to twist yourself into an avant garde posture to read this book. It is a straightforward novel in successive voices about the tribulations of the past century, from a Czech point of view. You could say Bohemian, because the echt profile of that country is mixed, in language and ethnicity.
In Hesh Kestin's new thriller, The Lie (Scribe, £8.99), Dahlia Barr, a feisty Israeli lawyer, specialises in defending Palestinians accused of terrorism. She is shrewd, brash, tough and doesn't suffer fools.
I admit to having developed a cynicism about actors’ memoirs. Not content with the drama of the lives they inhabit on stage or screen, they then have to serve up their own lives as drama, too, the vainglorious bastards.
This is the remarkable story of Renato Levi, an Italian Jew born in 1902 in Genoa, where his mother, the actress Dolores Domenici, owned the Hotel Select. She also owned the Hotel Miramare in Rapallo. He held a British passport, was educated in Switzerland during the First World War, later travelled to Sydney, and his family owned a boat-building business in Bombay.
Humour in political advertising can come in many forms. Look up the crackly old black-and-white broadcast from 1950s British election campaigns and you will get a lot of laughs out of Harold McMillan's stilted, confused performances.