I was thoroughly fascinated by this book. I still can't figure out why I liked it so much since the pace of the story was slow for me, but the writing is so perfectly beautiful that it will mesmerize you. The story it written as a letter from an English lawyer named Nicholas to his fiance revealing an indiscretion that even he can't truly explain except to say that he was used by a woman that had bewitched him. Masha sails into Nicholas' life and convinces him to help complete the sale of some property for an older woman. The tale twists and turns between Russian mafia, unethical business men and the women who will steal more than just your credit card after a sexual romp.Nick seems to be so intelligent and so fact conscious that it at first seems improbable that he could be used in a scam where Masha and Katya (possibly cousins) respond to his loneliness with taking him under their wing in order to help them illegally sell property that is owned by their "aunt". He explains to his girlfriend that he should have seen the scam coming, but couldn't believe that someone might actually take advantage of him. I found it very interesting to read the descriptions of corruption in Russia and how business is actually conducted. I don't know who to compare this story to since I don't think I have ever read anything like it before.