The theory was simple: a writer heads to Russia to pen a book set in the English countryside escaping the landscape he writes about to make it easier to concentrate.
But the reality is quite different with the author encountering a world that is unlike anything he has known before. St Petersburg is spinning out of control, or at least it seems that way although it looks as if it has been on the same edge of an abyss for years, and the people seem to be living at a speed and with motivations alien to an Englishman.
He is drawn into some relationships that are damaging and others that open up artistic worlds that operate in dusty forgotten clubs down side streets.
But just as things seem to be going well the darker side of St Petersburg emerges and the risks of trying to understand people that are different becomes all too apparent.
A review will follow on completion...