The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

The New Policeman

Written by Kate Thompson
Part of the The New Policeman Trilogy Series

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Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, The New Policeman takes readers on a visit to Tír na n’ Óg, the land of eternal youth. J J Liddy’s mother wants just one thing for her birthday – Time. The only place you might get it is a place where time goes at a different speed. The result is a warmhearted story drawing together a wealth of myths and legends against a background full of music, poetry told by a master storyteller who weaves magic and reality into a beautiful whole.

Winner of the Whitbread Children’s Book Award

The New policeman trilogy:

1. The New Policeman

2. The Last of the High Kings

3. The White Horse Trick


The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

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.

Browse inside this book


If you buy nothing else for your children (or yourself) this summer, buy Kate Thompson's The New Policeman ... Witty, entrancinly romantic and rooted in an ancient Celtic myth, this is a parable about not having enough time which hits hard -- Christina Hardyment Independent A story full of surprises, magic and a delicately balanced internal logic -- Julia Eccleshare Guardian 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 Inis A masterful fantasy of the old school: long on story, short on whizzy gimmicks ... Beautifully told and the characters draw you in Carousel A distinctive and beautifully written book ... An enthralling tale, both whimsical and deep, told with a dry laconic wit Books for Keeps

About the Author

Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson is one of the most exciting authors writing for young people today for she is a born storyteller, is highly original and 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, three years ago, she discovered her passion for playing the fiddle. She is now an accomplished player and also has a great interest in restoring instruments. Kate Thompson has won the Children’s Books Ireland Bisto Book of the Year award three times – in 2002 for The Beguilers, in 2003 for The Alchemist’s Apprentice and in 2004 for Annan Water. The New Policeman won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Whitbread Book Award Children’s category in 2005.

Image Copyright © 2005 Random House Publishers

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Book Info


416 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Kate Thompson
More books by Kate Thompson

Author's Website


Red Fox an imprint of Random House Children's Books

Publication date

6th April 2006




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