Set on the shores of the Baltic Sea, on rooftops lit with mesmerizing orange sunset and in the darkest corners of urban night. We find real characters there with depth and ideas searching for direction in their fragile lives and learning to express their ideas through art. From up on the roof, you can see everything. You can see life scurrying below you, and see it with a calm objectivity. No prejudices, no assumptions. That's what Max, the compelling narrator does: even when he is not sitting on a rooftop, he looks at life with intelligent curiosity, amiable openness and good-humoured equanimity. Max is not only a great companion for the reader - a calm presence at the centre of events - but the perfect lens through which to see a hidden world. Through Max we meet a succession of intriguing characters-artists and dreamers with their own unique perspectives on life and formulas for happiness: Viktor, the photographer who finds beauty in the mundane; inscrutable Tanya, whose mystery attracts Max as much as her smile; Pyos, an artist who lost ability to see people around him and lives in a disappearing tower; Oksana, forever entangled in spontaneous and dangerous affairs; Gray, connoisseur of street-art and magic. And, at the centre of it all, the enigmatic Lady F, who appears out of nowhere to give Max little bits of comfort and advice. Her clairvoyant yet cryptic intimations lead Max, and us, through a procession of coincidences, adventures, and miraculous escapes. Who is she? Guardian angel, Lady Luck, hallucination? Whoever she is, her wry and wise interchanges with Max are one of the novel's real pleasures. Whispers of magic get louder and louder, but, thanks to Kostin's clear and sober prose, with its amused detachment and adroit lyrical touches, we never stray into the world of fantasy or stock-in-trade magic realism. Pavel's latest novel is more than just a product of his own imagination. According to his introduction, the book is written on the walls of his home city, Kaliningrad, by the city itself and by the street-artists living there. His new heroes are extraordinary young romantics, using their art to express ideas, not unlike our home grown talent in London including Banksy, Ben Eine, Cityzen Kane, C215, Roa. These characters are secretive. They live in their own world with their own philosophy and outlook on life. But how does one become such urban romantic? We see a freedom seeking artist in Pavel's new novel, we see his journey, his adventures, his dilemmas and his choices. What would you choose? The comfort of daily routine or the free spirit of art? For Pavel's characters this becomes a question of life and death.