Death and the Penguin (Melville International Crime) by Andrey Kurkov (translated by George Bird):
The thaw had made the pavements treacherous, and on his way to the October Hospital he had several falls, the last of them on the steps of Oncology.
Ward 5, which he located unaided, was huge, like a school gymnasium. To some extent, and probably by reason of the strict alternation of beds and bedside tables, it was like a barracks. Not a nurse was to be seen. A sour medicinal odour pervaded the place. Some beds were screened off.
After a good look round he spotted Pidpaly, lying staring at the ceiling, on a bed by a window. His head seemed to have shrunk.