He is a russian sci-fi writer mostly working in "city fantasy" genre. I generally dislike this flavor of fiction, but this particular book was highly praised in the fandom. So, i decided to give it a try. Overall impression - meh. If this one is considered the best of Panov, i'd stay away from his other works.
If you are interested, "city fantasy" is a genre mix of (noir) detective and common heroic fantasy. It usually involves strong magical reality placed in a replica of our actual world - end of 20th century, beginning of 21st. The magic and its creatures are not considered a "common knowledge" like in any heroic fantasy, but rather lurks in the dark alleys, hiding from general public.
The popular nowadays vampire/werewolf pandemonium can be considered a subgenre of a "city fantasy".
Night Watch (book --> movie) is another fine exemplar.