Drama set in Moscow, Russia. A slow burn that fizzles out.
The story follows the confessions of Nick, a thirty-eight year old British lawyer, who falls in love with Masha, a sexy, young twenty-something Russian woman during one winter in Moscow.
Masha is an enigmatic character, but Nick’s infatuation overrules common-sense as he is drawn into a decadent and corrupt side of Russia – where criminals leech on unsuspecting victims, and money is king.
The story succeeds brilliantly on one level; a snow-filled, scenic picture with an absorbing portrayal of promises and deceit, plus a touch of unexpected and seedy humour that illustrates the underlying debauchery. The writing flows, and entertains throughout; and that alone will attract a legion of fans.
As a mainstream crime thriller, it promises much – the opening scene is captivating – but, in the end, it never delivers – a major disappointment.
This is A.D. Miller’s first novel, and the literary blurbs are all positive; it is easy to see why, yet I was left with the feeling it could have been so much better, had the story been stronger.
A proficient read from a talented author, with a caveat not to expect the full McCoy on all levels.