Many best-of-2018 lists include Jonathan Lethem’s quirky tale in which Manhattanite Phoebe Siegler’s search for a missing teenager takes her way out of her comfort zone to a small town east of Los Angeles. There she meets Charles Heist, who specialises in rescuing runaways, abused children and teenagers ensnared in the dark underside of the California Dream. Phoebe and Charles encounter a series of memorable characters, a grisly staged murder, and a fight to the death between rival cult leaders. Though she describes this world as one of utter seething menace, her wry observations bring considerable humour to the page too. Read our full review here.