Diving For Pearls – Jamie O’ Connell

Book of the Month – August 2021

We are delighted to see north Cork native Jamie O’Connell’s gripping début novel doing so well.The author is no stranger to Dubai having visited friends there on many occasions. He was struck by the juxtaposing of futuristic glamour and a dark old-world underbelly.He pays tribute to this enigmatic city by weaving a vibrant tale set in both Dubai and Ireland. 
The novel begins with a young woman’s body floating in the Dubai marina. Her death alters the fates of six people, each one striving for a better life in an unforgiving city. A young Irish man comes to stay with his sister, keen to erase his troubled past in the heat of the Dubai sun.

A Russian sex worker has outsmarted the system so far – but will her luck run out? A Pakistani taxi driver dreams of a future for his daughters. An Emirate man hides the truth about who he really is. An Ethiopian maid tries to carve out a path of her own.

From every corner of the globe, Dubai has made promises to them all. Promises of gilded opportunities and bright new horizons, the chance to forget the past and protect long-held secrets. But Dubai breaks its promises, with deadly consequences.

In a city of mirages, how do you find your way out?
Jamie O’Connell’s début has been influenced by Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend and Colum McCann’s Let The Great World Spin.