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Apr 4, 2022

‘instantly gripping page-turner’
Diving For Pearls published in paperback today

Jamie O’ Connell’s

Shortlisted for the ‘Sunday Independent Newcomer Of The Year’ at the An Post Irish Book Awards in 2021, Diving For Pearls is published in paperback today by Doubleday Ireland.

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The debut novel follows how the death of a young woman in Dubai 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, prompting the question. In a city of mirages, how do you find your way out?

Praise for Diving for Pearls

‘An enjoyable and unconventional thriller… readers will be hearing more from Jamie O’Connell, I’ve no doubt.’ 

The Sunday Times

‘A literary thriller set in Dubai… O’Connell’s debut does mainly reinforce the notion that expats are terribly entitled people but there’s nuance in the few characters desperately seeking a better, more meaningful life.’

The Guardian

‘It's tough to link so many narrative threads . . . but O'Connell pulls it off with aplomb …(a) compelling tale that manages, without preaching, to say much about the fragility of our globalised, capitalism-soaked world. An often dark and poignant read that will fully engage the reader from the outset.’ 

The Irish Times

“We may not make it on a sun holiday this summer, but we can still treat ourselves to 'devote entire days by the pool to them' kind of books you devour on a break. Jamie O'Connell's first novel, Diving for Pearls, is just such a one – an instantly gripping page-turner set around a death in Dubai” 

The Sunday Independent

‘This page-turner is the debut offering from Cork writer O'Connell and the sign of great things to come from him’ Irish ExaminerJamie O’Connell holds tender control over his story and still brings the literary magic of the written word to the page. There were so many beautiful sentences; I read slowly so as not to miss anything and I was rewarded a hundred times over with the beauty of the text. I may never go to Dubai but I won’t forget the stories I read here.’ 

Books Ireland

‘Stunning… a tour de force.’ 

Pat Kenny, The Pat Kenny Show (Newstalk)

‘If you're after a total page turner then try Diving for Pearls . . . A fantastic debut novel’ 


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