The author himself, Arno Jundze, regarding his novel ‘Red Mercury’ has stated the following: ‘The medieval kings were eager to acquire the Philosophers’ Stone, which, according to alchemists, promised eternal youth, happiness, and wealth. In the 1990s history repeated itself through a very plain analogy – no secret lessons or vague hints involved. The people were primitively chasing the red mercury created in the imagination of the Soviet intelligence, – a fictional miraculous substance that would guarantee its owner the world domination. There were even more of those who only wanted to lead a simple, happy life, to love and be loved. The dreams and illusions were crushed by the Wheel of Fate, with the times changing it turned out to be very difficult not to lose one’s self and self-esteem. Latvia had suddenly become free, but it was not enough for everyone to find freedom within themselves, because we needed to survive.’
‘Latvia in the 1990s is an eligible setting for events of a thriller novel to take place, and Arno Jundze has used this opportunity to its fullest. He has found such plot twisting turns in the recent history of our country and tells a story of such events that do not let the reader’s interest drift away even for a moment. There is a place for everything in this novel – there are murderers and bandits, bodily pleasures and heartfelt love, KGB agents and partisans, the death and resurrection, the mentally strong, and the weak. If anyone woud ask me, is this the way the history of Latvia in the 20th century should be written, I would undoubtedly say – yes, of course, as long as the writer is able to take in what life is so abundantly providing him with.’ (Gundega Blumberga)
The book was published in the series ‘We. Latvia. XX Century.’ within the framework of the SCCF’s target programme ‘National Identity’.