I'm reading this book. It is wonderful. There's a great plot, magnificent characters and an underlying sense of impending dooooooom.
But the best thing about Snow Drops is its sense of place.
It is set in Moscow and describes the streets, clubs, parks, underground and people of the city wonderfully. The author lived there for several years and it shows. He gets the place perfectly, without resorting to cliches.
Sense of place is important to me. I like to write books set abroad. I've set them in Moscow, Accra, Milan, Krakow and Tromso. I try to go to the places I write about. Writing about new places keeps my writing sharp. I hope.
Miller's book has helped remind me that I need to keep trying to do that. And to not let up.