A British lawyer working in post Soviet Moscow discovers that nothing in Russia is quite as it seems and in capitalist Moscow everything has its price. This is a very atmospheric read. You feel the cold, the fear, the corruption and the desperation to escape. The descriptions of Moscow and the Muscovite are so alive and many of the minor characters are brilliantly drawn.
She was waiting for us on the landing. She had one of those miniature shot-putter babushka figures, and a face that looked younger than her grey hair, which she'd trimmed into a pragmatic Soviet bowl. She was wearing lace-up black shoes, and tan stockings and a neat but worn woolen skirt and cardigan that told you straight off that the money didn't live with her.