Snowdrops - A.D. Miller Snowdrop (n):
An early-flowering bulbous plant, having a white pendent flower.
Moscow slang. A corpse that lies buried or hidden in the winter snows, emerging only in the thaw.

Nick Platt is an English lawyer living in Moscow during the wild Russian oil boom. Riding the subway on a balmy September day, he rescues two willowy sisters, Masha and Katya, from a would-be purse snatcher.

Nick soon begins to feel something for Masha that he is pleased to believe is love. As the snow starts to fall, the sisters introduce him to Tatiana Vladimirovna, their aged aunt and the owner of a valuable apartment. Before summer arrives, Nick will travel down to the sweaty Black Sea and up to the Arctic, and he'll make disturbing discoveries about his job, his lover and, most of all, himself.

Snowdrops is a fast-paced drama that unfolds during a beautiful but lethally cold Russian winter. Ostensibly a story of naive foreigners and cynical natives, the novel becomes something richer and darker: a tale of erotic obsession, self-deception and moral freefall. It is set in a land of hedonism and desperation, corruption and kindness, magical hideaways and debauched nightclubs; a place where secrets, and corpses, come to light when the snows thaw.

I have always had a fascination with Moscow, though my romantic idea of crunching through the snow across Red Square, Gorky Park and the Bolshoi are a million miles away from the corrupt, dangerous "…. city of neon lust and frenetic sin" it has become.

Jodie Mullish's quote "AD Miller's mesmerising novel convincingly evokes a hedonistic, seedy modern Moscow; a city simultaneously choked and lubricated with violence and corruption. Expat lawyer Nick's account of his time there is rendered hyperreal with minute details of the rubbish-strewn metropolis.”

The author's description of the city's snow by the end of winter resembling a tiramisu with layers of dirt, rubbish and right at the bottom an oily, unidentifiable black goo. Just like the city, just like Nick and his story....on the surface it looks beautiful but underneath.

"From above you could see the chaos of entangled plots on the other side of the road, and a couple of tough tethered goats, and the glint of a frozen pond somewhere in the trees. Above them the sun was shining vaguely through the milky November sky, old but strong. In April – between the thaw and the jungly green explosion of summer – or in raw mid-October, I bet the same view would have been barren and depressing. But when we stood there all the bits of old tractors and discarded refrigerators, the shoals of empty vodka bottles and dead animals that tend to litter the Russian countryside were invisible, smothered by the annual oblivion of the snow. The snow let you forget the scars and blemishes, like temporary amnesia for a bad conscience."

Some negative reviewers state that nothing of any huge consequence happens but for me it is the journey of a man's moral freefall during a Moscow winter.