Friday, 6 January 2012

Citation - Olives

I don't generally enjoy fiction novels that take place in the Middle East. I find that the culture is badly misrepresented, the politics over simplified and the endings too neatly tied up to ever bear up to any real examination.

Recently I read the inestimable Alexander McNabb's 'Olives - a violent romance'.

I could not put it down.

Alex has spent decades living and and traveling around the Middle East (of course he's still only a spring chicken but... you know) and is a walking library of knowledge about it. Not only in terms of the history and politics, but also in terms of how things work; the relationships between people and the logic behind how things happen.

This comes through in his book and is woven beautifully throughout the story which travels between Jordan and Palestine and captures both with accuracy.

It is the story of Paul, a young Englishman, who takes a job in Jordan and finds himself deeply and accidentally entrenched in a high stakes political game of subterfuge and deception.

As events develop, Paul is caught between Aisha, the girl he loves, her powerful Palestinian family, his job at the ministry, and being blackmailed by British intelligence to deliver sensitive information about their work and politics.

The story takes place as the Jordanian government opens up bids to privatise Jordan's dwindling water resources - a highly politicised playing field which involves many of the region's most powerful players.

I don't want to give too much away but I highly recommend this book.

I also want to add that Alex self published this book and bypassed the world of compromise that most authors have to go through to get published. 

Check it out at 

On there you can find all the information you need about how and why it's available as well as Alex's journey to publication.

Happy reading :)

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