Snowdrops shortlisted for the Man Booker prize
Cover of Snowdrops

Snowdrop (n):

  1. An early-flowering bulbous plant, having a white pendent flower.
  2. Moscow slang. A corpse that lies buried or hidden in the winter snows, emerging only in the thaw.

A superb expose of post-Cold War Russia as gangsterland where deadly transactions are merely the world's business being conducted.

The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA), Dan Dervin

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.

"In Russia," Nick's friend Steve tells him, "there are no business stories. And there are no politics stories. There are no love stories. There are only crime stories."

Snowdrops is the first novel by A.D. Miller, formerly the Moscow correspondent of The Economist. Snowdrops is published in January 2011 by Atlantic in Britain, and in February by Doubleday in the United States and Harper Canada. It will also be published in around 20 other countries and languages.