Friday, 10 January 2014

Snowdrops by AD Miller

Reviewer: JJ Marsh, author of The Beatrice Stubbs series

What We Thought: The eponymous snowdrop refers to a body buried under the winter snow which only comes to light in the thaw. The image is relevant both literally and metaphorically to AD Miller’s Moscow tale of corruption and moral erosion.

The book is ostensibly a letter from Nick to his fiancĂ©e, cleaning the slate by confessing his past. During the early years of the millennium, he’s working as a lawyer in Moscow, where he meets Masha and Katya, and so begins his decay.

It’s difficult to talk about the book without giving too much away, but it makes you think. The author uses the setting of wintry Moscow, and the period just before the credit crunch, to great reflective effect. Nick’s moral choices are underpinned by a sense of ‘Right here, right now, this is just how it works’. But one day, the snow will melt ...

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Gorky Park (Martin Cruz Smith), Closer/Notes on a Scandal (Patrick Marber), Icon (Frederick Forsyth).

Avoid if you don’t like: Dubious decisions, unreliable narrators, erosion of morality.

Ideal accompaniments: Stolichnaya, fishy dumplings and Polyushka Polye by Origa.

Genre: Literary fiction, Noir

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