Nick Platt is a British lawyer working in Moscow in the early 2000s - a place where the cascade of oil money, the tightening grip of the government, the jostling of the oligarchs, and the loosening of Soviet social mores have led to a culture where corruption, decadence, violence, and betrayal define everyday life. Nick doesn't ask too many questions about the shady deals he works on - he's too busy enjoying the exotic, surreally sinful nightlife Moscow has to offer.
One day in the subway, he rescues two willowy sisters, Masha and Katya, from a would-be purse snatcher. Soon Nick, the seductive Masha, and long-limbed Katya are cruising the seamy glamor spots of the city. Nick begins to feel something for Masha that he is pleased to think is love. Then the sisters ask Nick to help their aged aunt, Tatiana, find a new apartment.
Of course, nothing is as it seems - including this extraordinary debut novel. The twists in the story take it far beyond its noirish frame - the sordid and vivid portrayal of Moscow serves as a backdrop for a book that examines the irresistible allure of sin, featuring characters whose hearts are as cold as the Russian winter.
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"Most readers will not be so easily duped, and Nick's oft-repeated I-should-have seen-it-comings undercut any suspense that might remain, though there are interesting bits to be found in the travelogue-style writing about the new Russia." - Publishers Weekly
"A lesson in the art of self-delusion and the dog-eat-dog society of post-Soviet Russia, its sure to be an instant success. Essential for committed readers of fiction and a discussion feast for book clubs." - Library Journal
"Starred Review. A mesmerizing tale of a man seduced by a culture he fancies himself above, Miller's novel is both a nuanced character study and a fascinating look at the complexities of Russian society." - Booklist
"Good local color, but nothing much to care about here." - Kirkus Reviews
"An electrifying tour of the dark side of Moscow, and of human nature..... the novel is multi-layered; subtle rather than strident, and imbued with a bruised beauty...Miller is masterful at capturing small details....a gorgeously crafted story of a man hurtling into love.....Snowdrops, in a different way, assaults all your senses with its power and poetry, and leaves you stunned and addicted." - The Independent
"The wonderfully evoked corrupt atmosphere of modern Moscow, a dangerous mix of extreme poverty and decadent wealth, of simple old-fashioned values and unrestrained debauchery reads like Graham Greene on steroids ...Tightly written, with fascinating insider detail gained in three years as The Economist magazine's Moscow correspondent, Miller's complex, gripping debut novel is undoubtedly the real thing." - The Daily Mail
"AD Miller's elegant and compact literary thriller...offers an alluring yet chilling portrait of the city...the pleasure of Miller's first novel is divining the precise nature of the deceptions, and self-deceptions, taking place. A superlative portrait of a country in which everything has its price, Snowdrops displays a worldly confidence reminiscent of Robert Harris at his best." - Financial Times
"AD Miller's engrossing debut...offers an entirely believable portrait of a man complicit in Moscow's moral freefall...Miller brilliantly showcases the city as his novel's strutting, charismatic star...rendered with intoxicating vitality. It is a bravura setting for a study in morality...disturbing and dazzling." - Sunday Telegraph
"A deeply atmospheric, slow-burning examination of the effects of modern Russia on the soul of foreign visitors, and of one man's subtle but inexorable slide into moral decay...beautifully drawn and mirrored in several ingenious subplots...Miller is absolutely wonderful at evoking the seediness and cynicism of Moscow...The Russian seasons, from the sadistic winter to the sweltering summer, are evoked with scintillating clarity." - Independent on Sunday
"Strips away the layers of life in the Russian capital with subtle, pitiless grace ... Paced almost ideally, with an atmosphere that scintillates with beguiling menace, Snowdrops deserves...to enjoy substantial popular success." - Literary Review
"A lesson in the art of self-delusion and the dog-eat-dog society of post-Soviet Russia, it's sure to be an instant success. Essential for committed readers of fiction and a discussion feast for book clubs." - Library Journal "Superbly atmospheric....elegantly written, and spot on in detail." - London Observer
"Riveting tale....it is his insider knowledge of the city [that] makes this one stand out." - The Bookseller (UK)
"A tremendously assured, cool, complex, slow-burn of a novel and a bleak and superbly atmospheric portrait of modern Russia." - William Boyd, author of A Good Man in Africa and Ordinary Thunderstorms
"Snowdrops is a beautifully written tale, a confession of evil done not in bloodlust, but in the near passivity of muddling through, of squinting to keep from seeing, and whistling to keep from hearing. By the end of this extremely engaging book, you may almost want to forgive its narrator for all the damage his posture of willful innocence has inflicted upon the world. It's in the awful weight of that 'almost' that A. D. Miller shows his brilliance." - Scott Smith, author of The Ruins
"A chilling first novel about the slide from relative innocence into amorality. I love the honesty of the writing, and the way the furious cold of a bitter Moscow winter gradually emerges as a character in its own right." - Julie Myerson, author of Something Might Happen
"Snowdrops is an irresistible, sophisticated and compelling thriller of darkly delicious Russian corruption and decadence by a writer who truly understands where the corpses lie buried under the pure Russian snows." - Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Sashenka and Young Stalin
"Anybody who has spent any time in Moscow will instantly recognize the city's infamous decadence as well as its attraction in this extraordinarily evocative book - and anybody who has never been there will experience both the lure and the horror of modern Russia." Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag
"This is an impressive debut. Millers taut narrative is a deft mixture of suspense, intrigue and human tragedy. Romantic love, bad faith, self-delusion, cupidity and corruption are fatally entwined in a novel that brilliantly conveys the tawdriness of life in the underbelly of modern Moscow." - Jonathan Dimbleby, author of Russia: A Journey To The Heart Of A Land And Its People
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A. D. Miller studied literature at Cambridge and Princeton, and worked as a television producer before joining the Economist. He has served as the magazine's Moscow correspondent and is currently an editor in its London office. Snowdrops is his first novel.
Visit the author at snowdropsthenovel.com and Facebook.
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