by A D Miller
I had an abortive attempt at this book several weeks ago, but failed to engaged with the plot and set it aside for another time.
The other time occurred as I packed my bag for the Kazakhstan trip when two eight hour flights dawned plus the inevitable airport hanging around and of course the empty hours in a hotel with only the international news channel for company.
The second attempt was timely as the book is set in Moscow, a culture with more than a passing similarity to Kazakhstan. The book is written as some form of confessional by Nick, a n ex pat accountant to person or persons unknown - possibly a future partner attempting to explain the circumstances of his last winter in Russia. Its a study on the dark side of Moscow, and human nature.
In the context of this book a snow drop is a body which emerges from the snow in the Moscow spring, paralleling the implications of his actions which become apparent as time passes. In some ways its a classic story of a flawed love affair where both parties are not what they seem and slowly moral positions are compromised. Nick's professional integrity suffers attrition in the face of corruption, greed and betrayal in equal measure mirroring his personal life where all is not as he wants it to be and whilst willing the truth to be otherwise, he presses on in the hope that all will be well.
Its probably best described as a psychological thriller which is quite engaging and an easy read. The cast is small and the plot fairly complex and I would have to say that even the conclusion lacks and major sting in the tail. Rather you become aware of the inevitability of the conclusion and the book is something of an apologetic for the loss of moral standards.
Not a bad book, but nothing really great either.