Russian mob romances are very popular right now. I assume the authors are inspired by Viggo Mortensen’s hot to death turn as a mobster in Eastern Promises. I enjoy reading these books, but I’m more intrigued by politicians, and with Vladimir Putin you get a politician who acts like a mobster. Oh joy! Come on, doesn’t he look like a mob boss in this picture? I can just see people queuing up to kiss his ring. No worries, he’s not the hero of The Lion in Russia (formerly The Goddess of Milan), he’s the villain. But this story was at least partially inspired by this photo. More than anything I think it conveys his character.