Posted by Justine Solomons on 26 October 2011, in Recommendations
Snowdrop - A D Miller
Our main protagonist, Nicholas, is told by his best friend Steve, that,
'In Russia... there are no business stories. And there are no politics stories. There are no love stories. There are only crime stories'.
This book is definitely a crime novel though business, politics and love are part of the fun. Crime isn't really a genre I usually enjoy, so I was surprised how much I enjoyed Snowdrops.
Nicholas is an English lawyer living in Moscow who gets caught up in a few mysterious situations. Professionally he is acting for a Cossack who has connections with the oil fields of Murmansk. At home he's trying to help his neighbour when his friend and fellow habitee of their apartment block goes missing. Finally there is the woman he falls for - Masha and her 'sister' who isn't really her sister and ends up helping their 'aunt' who isn't really their aunt.
The narration is a confessional, Nicholas is reflecting on his time in Moscow and coming clean to his fiance before they wed. Although Nicholas complicity and lack of inquiry would be inexcusable in most other situations, as a reader one does kind of get it, as if while he was in Moscow, he was in a fairytale land, a land that at another time on the political spectrum once declared that 'all property is theft' but has now swung the other way to create a society where crimes such as property theft are not only accepted but the norm.
AD Miller is a charming writer, and uses a convincing combination of tight clear prose, intriguing plot and lyricism. I particularly liked the origin of the title of the book - 'snowdrops' are the local name given to the dead bodies that are revealed by the melting snow as the winter ends. This is a real page turner and well worth a read.
To buy this book click on the following link: Snowdrops
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