Heart of ice

A.D. Miller's acclaimed Snowdrops is a dark, cold chilling thriller. Set in Moscow the novel centres around an expat lawyer, Nick. Nick is involved in a company who are making deals with Russian oil oligarchs. It's a dirty business, all looks legal and clean on the surface, what is going on underneath is very different. Nick manages to keep himself, at least mentally, aloof from this, but then he meets Masha, and her sister, Katya. He soon finds that it's not just big business that has its roots in corruption in the new Russia.

Snowdrops is a chilling, unsettling thriller. Miller presents the corrupt rotting face of the new Soviet Empire, but through Nick urges the West not to be too complacent, he shows how easy it to be aware of evil, and not to respond to it. And as Paolo, Nick's Italian business partner points out, just because the corruption in Russia is more obvious, it doesn't mean that the corruption and violence isn't also present behind the glossy facades of the West.

It's a very dark read this novel. Perhaps as unsettling as the themes of the novel is the sensation that the reader is left dangling at the end. There won't be the usual tidy wrapping up of storylines here. The reader will be left wondering what happens next. And this is very clever - what is worse anticipation or knowledge?

It's the kind of novel that leaves you brooding and uneasy at the end. Russia with its fascination, unruliness, and sometimes downright cruelty looms menacingly throughout, a character in itself that shapes the characters within the novel. Snowdrops is an excellent thriller, but prepare to feel thoroughly unsettled.


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