16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Snowdrops: A Novel (Hardcover)
A British lawyer, Nicholas Platt, is working in Moscow in the hectic, free-for-all, Wild East days of the new Russia. By day he helps negotiate huge bank loans to facilitate Russia's economic development. These deals involve a number of shady characters and questionable assumptions, but Nick is caught up in the free-wheeling, anything goes climate, and whatever moral scruples he might have brought with him from the UK are quickly eroding. The same is true of his personal life as Nick gets caught up in exotic and often erotic lifestyle that flows from the rivers of cash that are flooding through the city.
One afternoon, Nick saves two attractive sisters from a purse snatcher and he is soon involved romantically with Masha, the older of the two. The women are very mysterious; even Masha reveals little of herself to Nick. But he is too caught up in the intimacy which he believes to be love. Then Masha and her sister, Katya, ask Nick to help their elderly aunt in the sale of her apartment and the purchase of a new one. It quickly becomes apparent to Nick that this deal may not be completely legitimate, but by now he is completely bedazzled by Masha, and his moral compass has long since lost the ability to find True North. He knows he is almost certainly heading for a fall, but like any true noir character, he's long past caring.
This is an excellent debut novel that paints a gripping portrait of the new Russia and the seduction of man who is powerless to resist its allure. It should appeal to those who like their novels dark and their characters flawed and in the grip of an attraction beyond their power to control.