Publisher: Penguin, 1964.
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During the early weeks of the Korean War, Captain Lee, a young South Korean officer, is ordered to investigate the kidnapping and mass murder of North Korean ministers by Communist forces. For propaganda purposes, the priests are declared martyrs, but as he delves into the crime, Lee finds himself asking: What if they were not martyrs? What if they renounced their faith in the face of death, failing both God and country? Should the people be fed this lie? Part thriller, part mystery, part existential treatise, The Martyred is a stunning meditation on truth, religion, and faith in times of crisis.
While the novel is set in the Korean War, the theme is universal. The combination of the deep moral questions raised, combined with the detective story in which we try to find out our own version of the truth of what happened, makes for an outstandingly good read.
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