Published one month before Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, The Bitterness of Olives could not have been more prescient. Having spent time in the occupied West Bank, east Jerusalem and the border area of Gaza, author Andrew Brown had a keen sense that the uneasy “quiet” in Palestine was soon to be shattered.

In the novel, Brown explores the complex friendship between Israeli Avi Dahan, a former detective grappling with the death of his wife in Tel Aviv, and Khalid Mansour, a Palestinian physician facing the precariousness of life in Gaza City, as political upheaval threatens their fragile camaraderie. When a scarred, unidentified body arrives in his emergency room, Khalid turns to Avi, the only person who might be able to help solve the mystery...

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