Cardboard Soldiers
book — Latvia — 2005

I`m far from the most enthusiastic fans of Latvian literature. I don`t follow who writes what, who was seen performing a hand job upon whom etc. Therefore this novel by Jochan Korin was a huge surprise for me. I expected this book to be either a luscious tale of women in the country or a stale story about WW2 where the great patriotic Latvian nazis fight the nitty commies with great passion and results. But it proved to be an excuisite crime story that is a riddle itself. It seemed to be a book done especially for me - a book of logic riddles, a book with a huge emphasis on playing cards and cracking codes. The most important thing about it is the fact that the riddles are interesting, memorable and fun. Quite unlike the ones in "The da Vinci Code". The central story goes around Matiss Ziemelis, a guy who has mostly only interest for crossword puzzles and playing cards but who`s also capable of some other things. He is asked by his friend from the university to help the local police to fight car stealers, but the whole book is much more about different stuff than just thievery. And I don`t mean masons by that - it`s a perfect book for a quest game, and a good game for sure - I have no doubt at all that something like "Monkey Island" could come out of this. And can you imagine anything better than "Monkey Island"? I can`t.
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