IAN MCEWAN (JONATHAN CAPE, $38) “So here I am, upside down in a woman. Arms patiently crossed, waiting, waiting and wondering who I’m in, what I’m in for.” This is how we’re introduced to Nutshell’s unnamed narrator: a preternaturally precocious foetus currently residing in Trudy, who herself is resident in her estranged husband John’s ramshackle, yet enormously valuable, London house. His uncle, Claude, is continually coming and going and it seems a murderous plot is afoot. All the while our narrator is listening in and speculating on what might happen next – and what it means for him. The voice of the omniscient unborn child takes a little acclimatising to, but this update of Hamlet has plenty of pace and many a twist, so the end comes quickly.