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  • Published: 30 June 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446478714
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

The New Policeman

THE NEW POLICEMAN: a wonderfully intriguing story going right to the heart of Irish magic, folklore and music, from the four-times honoured recipient of the Irish Children`s Book of the Year Bisto Award.

Everyone in Kinvara is conscious that time is flying past, faster and faster - to such an extent that when JJ asks his mother what she would like as a birthday present she ask for more time. JJ dismisses this as mere wishful thinking, an impossibility, for who know where the time goes?

The Liddys have been musicians for generations and JJ is no exception but what he discovers is that a shadow from the past hangs over their family -did his great-grandfather murder the village priest? When he sets out to buy his mother time, he discovers the fate of a flute which will provide the key to both problems - it is the vital clue. He makes the transition to Tir na n'Og, the land of eternal youth, where the fairy people are also having a problem with time and it falls to his lot to locate the leak between the two parallel worlds. JJ finds where time goes!

Music proves to be the touchstone for communication between the fairy and the human domains and the book is saturated with the lure of Irish music for JJ`s whole existence is built round the ceili and each chapter relates to a tune, printed out as a heading so that the reader can also become a performer. As for the New Policeman, Larry O'Dwyer, he is an enigmatic figure who has a significant bearing on the plot but whose identity is kept a superbly guarded secret to the very last surprising moment.

  • Published: 30 June 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446478714
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

About the author

Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson is one of the most exciting authors writing for young people today. A born storyteller, her work is highly original and she is thought provoking in her ideas. She has travelled widely in the USA and India and studied law in London. After living in County Clare, she moved to Kinvara in County Galway and there, she discovered her passion for playing the fiddle. She is now an accomplished player and also has a great interest in restoring instruments.

Kate is the only author to win the Children's Books Ireland Bisto Book of the Year award four times - in 2002 for The Beguilers, in 2003 for The Alchemist's Apprentice, in 2004 for Annan Water and in 2006 for The New Policeman.

The New Policeman also won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2005, the Whitbread Book Award Children's category 2005, the Children's Book of the Year in the Irish Book Awards in March 2006 and has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

In 2008 Kate was again shortlisted for the Children's Books Ireland Bisto Award for her book, The Last of the High Kings, a beautiful and haunting story that delves deep into the magic of Irish myth and folklore.

Also by Kate Thompson

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Praise for The New Policeman

'If you buy nothing else for your children (or yourself) this summer, buy Kate Thompson's The New Policeman...witty, entrancingly romantic and rooted in an ancient Celtic myth, this is a parable about not having enough time which hits hard - and perfectly suits our hectic age.'

Christina Hardyment, Independent

`A storyteller of genius'

Irish Times

'A story full of surprises, magic and a delicately balanced internal logic.'

Julia Eccleshare, Guardian

'A beautifully original book...an impressive novel.'


`Daring and accomplished'

Books for Keeps

If there is one thing we all need more of it's time and The New Policeman by Kate Thompson explores just where our time goes.

Children's Bookseller Supplement

'Kate Thompson's work always surprises with its inventiveness and sheer quality of her writing...at times dark, daring and subversive, at times sheer fun...this book breaks new ground and should become a classic.'


'A wonderfully enjoyable and enlightening read...not only a superb detective novel and work of fiction for young and old alike, but a vessel for the nature of Irish heritage, its rich music and myths, legends and magic.'

School Librarian

Article about Guardian Children's Fiction Prize longlist

The Bookseller

'Whilst numerous children's novelists have drawn on the richness of Irish myth, legend and folklore...few have managed to do so with the skill, wit and mischief which characterise Kate Thompson's The New Policeman...elegantly paced and cleverly structured.'

Irish Times

'A distinctive and beautifully written book...an enthralling tale, both whimsical and deep, told with a dry, laconic wit.'

Books for Keeps

'There is something hallucinatory, if not delirious about this stylish, magical book.'

Jan Mark, Guardian

'A masterful fantsay of the old school: long on story, short on whizzy gimmicks....beautifully told and the characters draw you in.'


'A lively blend of James Stephens-type faery fantasy and realism set to music makes this a thoroughly enjoyable read.'

Sunday Tribune

'Here depicted is the Eire of the Irish Tourist Board: music and myth, magic and whimsy, leprechauns and fairy folk. All this is done with the lightest of touches and the gentlest of humour: this book will charm many readers...54 tunes and a rollicking good story: what could be better?'


One of the most original, captivating novels of 2005.

The Roar (Lion & Unicorn)

`Kate Thompson writes with marvellous and magical ease'

Janni Howker, TES

An inventive and imaginative read for older readers that is captivating from the first page.

tBk mag

A beautifully constructed book... a magical story, with musical refrains that children can play as well as read.

The Good Book Guide

A wonderful feel-good tale about music, life and how to live it.

Books for Keeps

Concise in style and elegant in its plotting, this deft book manages to be at once entertaining and profound.

Dublin Evening Herald

Stylish Irish fantasy... a story packed with surprises and magic, but it seems real and plausible. Thompson expertly mixes folklore, music and reality in this wonderfully intriguing story.

South China Sunday Post/ Hong Kong Young Post

This is a magical, musical book...It deserves to have won all the awards it has.

Jonathan Lydon, Newcastle Upon Tyne Journal

A stylish, entertaining and very original story

Aldershot Mail

A winning blend of fantasy, magic, and music.

Young Post

...A total delight...utterly charming...The writing is quite literary spellbinding as it entwines the reader.

The School Librarian

This is a highly unusual and original book, full of mystery, magic and music, and stunning plot surprises.

With Kids

Short review

SEN Magazine

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