KRVS

Madhulika Sikka

Underneath railway arches on a nondescript street in North London, you'll find an old warehouse that's the epicenter of the Ottolenghi food empire.

Jerusalem-born food impresario Yotam Ottolenghi and his business partner, Sami Tamimi, started out over a decade ago with one restaurant in London selling fresh, Middle East-inspired food. The business now encompasses several restaurants, an expanding online food business and some cookbooks that have been wildly successful on their home turf and here in the U.S.

If you were making a movie about the world of British espionage, you'd want to cast someone like Charles Cumming as your undercover agent. He's tall and handsome and self-assured and utterly charming in that self-deprecating British way. You can imagine him effortlessly gliding through the small talk of embassy parties or sweeping a gullible female officer off her feet — in service of queen and country, of course. In other words, it's easy to be seduced by him.

Jace Wilson is a 13-year-old boy who plans to do what many boneheaded 13-year-olds do: something dumb on a dare, to once and for all dispense with the idea that he might be a coward. But while psyching himself up to go through with the dare, he witnesses a murder — and before we know it, we're off. Michael Koryta's new novel, Those Who Wish Me Dead, sucks you in from the first page and doesn't let you go.

This week sees the publication of The Counterfeit Agent, the 8th book in author Alex Berenson's thriller series featuring former military man and CIA recruit John Wells. Wells can kill with his bare hands, he likes to exorcise his demons in the dead of night, at breakneck speed on the back of a motorcycle — and by the way, he's converted to Islam (a plot point TV viewers are seeing on Homeland years after Berenson featured it). Even after leaving the CIA, Wells never really leaves his job.

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi own four wildly popular London restaurants and have authored runaway best-selling cookbooks for omnivores and vegetarians alike.

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