The novel is set in Moscow in the mid-nineties and is written in the form of first-person narrative by the protagonist, Nicholas, an English, Moscow-based commercial lawyer. Nicholas gets involved with two Russian girls, Masha, with whom he is romantically involved, and Katya. The liaison sees Nicholas Platt drawn into the underworld of Russia, as a plot unfolds around him, and his new relationship. The novel is written in a confessional style, leading up to the criminal act into which Nicholas has been drawn. 
Miller has described Snowdrops as a "moral thriller", because the reader knows that something bad is going to happen, but is not exactly sure what.
The book received generally positive review, with The Guardian writing Snowdrops is a properly moral riposte to that attitude; a powerful warning of the dangers of staring at something so long that you stop noticing what you're seeing. 
- "Man Booker 2011 Shortlist". Themanbookerprize.com. 2011-09-06. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
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