The Martyred Exposes Conflicts of Conscience

Dust jacket of The MartyredThe Korean War is the backdrop for The Martyred, but the story could just as easily be set in Afghanistan or the Central African Republic today.

Richard E. Kim presents his novel as a first-person account by a South Korean Army Captain stationed in Pyongyang between the expulsion of the Communists and their recapture of the city.

Shortly before pulling out, the Communists seized 14 Christian ministers and shot 12 of them to death. Korean Army Intelligence wants to know whether the 12 were martyrs — great anti-Communist propaganda — or if the two were informers.

Only one of the two ministers survived with enough brain function to be able to tell the truth about what happened, and the Rev. Shin seems to be hiding a secret. Did he lie? Is he lying now? Captain Lee must uncover the truth.

Although Kim is frugal with adjectives, his simple prose creates an atmosphere as terrifying as any Gothic novel. There’s something about the good guys that feels untrustworthy.

Kim’s prose isn’t hard to read, but readers have to pay close attention. Every sentence is on the quiz — and some day your life might depend on knowing the right answers.

The Martyred
By Richard E. Kim
1964 bestseller #7
316 pages
My grade: A-

© 2014 Linda Gorton Aragoni

Advertisements

Published by

Linda Aragoni

I'm passionate about helping people learn through the medium of nonfiction writing. Although I occasionally have an idea of my own, I mostly build education tools by recycling and repurposing other folks' ideas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s