Diving For Pearls by Jamie O’ Connell – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

A young woman’s body floats 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?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Diving for Pearls is a novel about a crime but is completely different too many of the others that I have read. In this novel the crime, the death of a young Emirati woman, is very much in the background. Instead the focus is on those who are linked by her death. Either as a brother, friend, lover or the handful of people who have only had a tenuous link. The story is told by all of these, and also by a couple who never met her, but were connected through other people.

Most of the novel takes place in Dubai, but there is also an Irish link. These parts felt quite refreshing, amusing and heartwarming after reading about the methods used by the police as they tried to find out who had killed the daughter of an extremely wealthy and powerful local. The methods that the police used when questioning the people they had decided were involved in the death were horrifying. I felt that they needed to be seen to be doing something and the easiest and most preferable option was that the person responsible was somebody from another country.

I have only ever seen the airport in Dubai and I remember being fascinated by the what you could buy there. From the description of the malls I had the feeling that this was life for some in Dubai, if they were lucky enough.But you also see how much of it was a sham. Many people run out of money and just leave what possessions they cannot carry. The people who have come into the country for work have their passports taken and can’t leave again. If things go badly wrong their embassies won’t help them. They are often with employers who mistreat them, poor wages, or differing types if abuse. Gete was lucky in some ways, others in the novel, like Tahir and Lydia were not as fortunate.

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