Download a copy of Time Out Beirut's excellent interview with Alexander about Olives - A Violent Romance here!
"Informative, exciting and well-written."
The Daily Star, Lebanon
"McNabb has created a world that is uniquely Arab and foreign at once. He obviously understands the region, its politics and its culture. And that is its greatest strength. It is able to draw in the reader early on, creating a world that is at once familiar and strange."
Joseph Mayton writing in BikyarMasr
"A gripping and realistic novel that displays elements of what residents in the Middle East live and breathe on a daily basis."
“A fast and mesmerizing read.”
“The intensity of Paul and Aisha’s love story is the novel’s defining strength with their intimacy heating up to a feverish pitch as disasters escalate and put them at risk.”
The National newspaper
"McNabb’s attempt to portray a more complicated Middle East is important. Its potential impact on Western audiences shouldn’t be underestimated."
Daoud Kuttab writing in JO Magazine
“If you take Tailor of Panama, add a sprinkle of Lawrence of Arabia, introduce rich and memorable characters, a modern concern about water scarcity, and bring up the speed, you will get Olives – A Violent Romance by Alexander McNabb. Reading this book was an absolute delight, with an intriguing ending that still keeps me thinking.”
Hanging Out Globally
“A hard-hitting novel tackling real-life issues coming out of the Palestine-Israel conflict. Olives: A Violent Romance joins an emerging genre on the conflict which attempts to humanise it, making it accessible to readers from all walks of life.”
Middle East Monitor
“The following night I picked up the book again and finally put it down at 2am. Rest assured that I need a very good reason to stay up until 2am on a school night, and that night I was so gripped by the book and eager to find out what happened next that the time ran away with me.”More reviews here.
“There is definite tension in this book and I was gripping my iPad near the end as it all came together. Right up to the end I wasn't sure who the "bad guys" are (and, really, both sides have good and bad, which is shown in this novel). I love that it isn't clear who is stalking whom until the very end.”
Helen’s Book Blog
Olives is a novel set in Jordan. It is a spy story and a love story, a stranger abroad story and a thriller. It brings the Middle East to life, even as it weaves a path through passion, betrayal and death.
It is, indeed, a violent romance.
When Paul Stokes runs out of choices, his only path is betrayal.
The fragile peace is holding. Behind the scenes, the Israelis are competing for dwindling water resources as Jordan and Palestine face drought. Daoud Dajani has the solution to Jordan’s water problems and is bidding against the British for the privatisation of Jordan’s water network.
When journalist Paul Stokes befriends Dajani’s sister, Aisha, British intelligence agent Gerald Lynch realises Paul offers access to the man threatening to drain Israel’s water supply and snatch the bid from the British. Blackmailed by Lynch into spying on Dajani, his movements seemingly linked to a series of bombings, Paul is pitched into a terrifying fight for survival that forces him to betray everyone around him. Even the woman he loves.