Monday, July 03, 2006

Politics and Poker – Sarah Weinman

This is a nifty short story from the June 2006 AHMM . In it, a man is accused of killing his rabbi. The fact that the rabbi pretty clearly seems to have deserved it only complicates matters. You see, when a person is bad, it isn’t usually reserved for one particular victim. Bad people spread their badness around. Rabbi Kranzman was no exception to this rule. So who had motive? Better question: where does the line for those with motive begin? For a moment, I thought this would turn into one of those “Orient Express” stories. Ms. Weinman fooled me.

Perhaps the most interesting thing in the story for me was the flavor of Orthodox Judaism that runs throughout. I worked at Yeshiva University for four years. Enjoyed every minute (except for end of term reports) and this story was a little like revisiting that time. The introduction to a culture that is both near to us and far at the same time reminded me of the experience of reading G. Miki Hayden’s “Murder on 123rd Street.” My rave for that story is somewhere below.

Anyway, well written, fast paced, and more than enough twists to make it worth the $3.99.


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