Summary and book reviews of The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

The New Policeman

By Kate Thompson

The New Policeman
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  • Hardcover: Jan 2007,
    448 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2008,
    416 pages.

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Book Summary

Who knows where the time goes?

There never seems to be enough time in Kinvara, or anywhere else in Ireland for that matter. When J.J.'s mother says that what she really wants for her birthday is more time in her day, J.J. decides to find her some. But how can he find time for her, when he barely has enough time to keep up with school and his music? And where will he get time to find out if the shocking rumor is true—that his great-grandfather was a murderer?

It seems as though J.J.'s given himself an impossible task. But then a neighbor reveals a secret to him—there is a place where time stands still. J.J. realizes he's the only person who can make the journey, but to do so he'll have to vanish from his own life.

And when J.J. disappears from the village, enter the new policeman. . . .

Chapter One

J.J. Liddy and his best friend, Jimmy Dowling, often had arguments. J.J. never took them seriously. He even considered them a sign of the strength of the friendship, because they always made up again straightaway, unlike some of the girls in school, who got into major possessive battles with one another. But on that day in early September, during the first week that they were back in school, they had an argument like none before.

J.J. couldn't even remember now what it had been about. But at the end of it, at the point where they usually came round to forgiving each other and patching it up, Jimmy had dropped a bombshell.

"I should have had more sense than to hang around with you anyway, after what my granny told me about the Liddys."

His words were followed by a dreadful silence, full of J.J.'s bewilderment and Jimmy's embarrassment. He knew he had gone too far.

"What about the Liddys?" said J.J.

"Nothing." Jimmy turned to go back into ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

If there was ever a book that deserved to be listened to rather than read, The New Policeman is it. Not only because the writing has a distinct Irish lilt but because each short chapter ends with a musical score for an Irish jig, so unless one happens to be a dab hand on the keyboard, or better still, the fiddle, there is an element of the book that one misses out on (in fact it's a little frustrating that this otherwise wonderful book, winner of the Guardian and Whitbread children's book awards, didn't come with an attached CD for the musically-challenged amongst us). Having said that, even without being able to fully appreciate the musical elements, all four of us (aged 11 to 47) very much enjoyed reading The New Policeman.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews
Author Blurb Eoin Colfer
The New Policeman is charming, seductive and completely enthralling. Everyone with even a passing interest in Irish music, or magic should read it.

KLIATT

This jaunty, enchanting fantasy won the Whitbread Award and the Guardian Award when it was first published in Great Britain, and it's sure to appeal to readers on this side of the Atlantic as well.

The Guardian - Jan Mark

There is something hallucinatory, if not delirious, about this stylish, magical book, the sensation of tenuous recognition, of watching a dream slip away after waking.

Sunday Times

Imaginative, neatly constructed and rich in Irish lore, characters and atmosphere, it is deservedly gathering prizes.

Kirkus Reviews

Extremely short chapters interspersed with musical scores of appropriate traditional tunes create a choppy start, but the novel, rich with Irish flavor, quickly warms up as time passes too quickly in both worlds. A wholly satisfying resolution returns all characters to their homes-with a bit of crossing-over fun. Charming.

Publisher's Weekly

[An] enchanting story....The book is a kind of love song to traditional Irish music, every chapter ends with a melody.

VOYA

Mesmerizing and captivating, this book is guaranteed to charm fantasy fans

Booklist - Gillian Engberg

Starred Review. Readers will ....fall eagerly into the rich, comic language and the captivating characters and scenes, particularly those that feature musicians (including talented J. J.), who play the "wild, anarchic music" that bridges worlds.

Bookpage - James Neal Webb

Thompson's novel catapults the reader into a Brigadoon-like world where nothing is exactly what it seems and where the only thing that really matters is music—the music we create, and the music that is life. The compelling plot is full of more twists than an Irish jig .... and the well-drawn characters jump off the page. The New Policeman will take you to places, both real and imagined, that you've never been before.

Reader Reviews
Velma

Time and Magic
I just finished The New Policeman and it really proved how valuable Bookbrowse is to me. I would probably never have come across this charming and magical book without Davina since it isn't offered in the local bookstore and I have seen no other ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Kate Thompson was born in England in 1956, the youngest of three children. Her parents were social historians, both writers, and both very active in the peace and anti-nuclear movements during the cold war years. After she left school she worked with racehorses for several years in England and the USA before going to college to study law, which she left after a year to go traveling to India, where she spent the best part of two years. She moved to Ireland in 1981 where she lives with her partner Conor Minogue and their ...

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