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Diving for Pearls by Jamie O’Connell

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Diving or Pearls by Jamie O’Connell
UK Publication Date: June 2021
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Random House UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Well there was no diving for pearls that I saw…

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 Thoughts: Based on the synopsis I was expecting a thriller or perhaps a murder mystery instead what I got was a somewhat jumbled description of life in Dubai/Ireland from the point of view of 6 people must closely (or not) associated with the young woman who was found dead. By the end of the book it has not been explained what happened to the girl and there was for me a distinct lack of conclusion.

What I enjoyed about the book were the vivid descriptions of Dubai both from the point of view of the rich elite and from the point of view of the servants (not sure of the correct term but human trafficking definitely seems involved) I liked the scenes at the police station and what the idea is of justice in Dubai.

Overall I would say this book was more of a drawn out character study than a quick paced mystery read.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to those who enjoy immersing themselves in a different culture and who wouldn’t be bothered by the lack of a totally cohesive storyline.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

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