This book works on several different levels. In one sense the reader is ahead of Viktor as it becomes clear that he has been writing not just obituaries but in effect death orders that have been processed through his newspaper offices based on selected criteria he is not party to.
But in other ways it is far from clear where this is going. Writing the obituaries has changed Viktor’s life permanently and he has not just collected the mafia bosses’s daughter as a companion but now gains a nanny for her who becomes his lover. The link between all them is the reaction they all have to Misha the penguin.
Misha is growing as a character and makes you realise the potential that a good writer can get out of a character that not only does not speak but has very little facial expression. If anyone asked me if this book was worth reading the answer would have to be that it is just for the Misha character alone.