The Yiddish Policemen's Union Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Yiddish Policemen's Union

The Yiddish Policeman's Union is set in a fictional colony of Jewish immigrants that set up their own state in Alaska following WWII. The colony's time of self rule is almost up and it will soon become part of Alaska again. The main character, Meyer, is a divorced detective living in a derelict hotel. Another man living in the hotel is killed and Meyer sets out to solve the mystery along with his cousin, Berko, who is his detective partner. His ex wife, Bina, also a detective, gets a job as Meyer and Berko's superior and Meyer has to deal with her throughout the story. He eventually discovers, through his detective work, that the man who was killed claimed to be the Messiah that the Jews had been waiting for. He visits the island where the supposed Messiah, a junkie, had been taken to be cleaned up before his death. He solves the mystery through his work with Berko and Bina.
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Best part of story, including ending: I thought that this story was really well thought out. I loved all the detail that the author went into.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene is probably when Meyer goes to talk to some possible informants and they are playing chess. He encounters a man who he had played chess with at the club as a child and the man is horribly injured and can no longer speak. All of the description is fantastic.

Opinion about the main character: I really liked that Meyer, the man character, was very run of the mill. He was just an average guy but very capable in his job.

The review of this Book prepared by Meagan Lawson a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Yiddish Policemen's Union

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 10%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 30% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   40% Murder of certain profession?    -   religious person Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, Foreign Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   Religious Jew


United States    -   Yes Island?    -   Yes Island:    -   Pacific Island Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gorey descriptions deaths/dead bodies Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   descript. of breasts Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Michael Chabon Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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