Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The New Policeman

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The New Policeman

by Kate Thompson

The New Policeman by Kate Thompson X
The New Policeman by Kate Thompson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 448 pages
    Apr 2008, 416 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

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 two daughters. She started writing seriously in the late eighties and her first book, a collection of poems, There is Something, was published in 1992.

A year or so later she began to write full length novels, both for children and for adults. Switchers was published in Ireland in 1994, but unfortunately the publishing company went out of business and she was without a publisher for some years. Eventually she landed with Random House in the UK who published Switchers in 1997. Since then she has published about a book a year winning numerous awards including the Children's Book Ireland Book of the Year Award (better known as the CBI Bisto* award) which she has won four times.

Her interest in preserving fairy stories goes deeper than just keeping alive the best of the Irish tales. In an interview in the Guardian newspaper she says, "Children are growing up without the unsanitised fairy stories which are soul maps, and I think they are losing out by not having them .... I'm trying to provide a psychological map, but I don't want to preach. If there's a common thread to my books it is that each involves an individual's journey. The individual must stay true to themselves. It's what the fairies do and that's why the fairy stories are so important."

Souterrains are key to The New Policeman. From the French sous terrain (under ground) these are a type of underground structure believed to date from the Iron Age (pictures). It is thought that the galleries were dug out, lined with stone slabs and then reburied. They do not appear to have been used for burial or ritual purposes so it is believed they may have been storage and hiding places during times of trouble (although many have very obvious entrances which makes it difficult to believe they were hiding places).

*Bisto is a leading maker of gravy products and stock cubes in the UK; the name is often used as a generic for the product group as a whole. Bisto, first produced in 1908, is so named because it "Browns, Seasons and Thickens in One".

This article was originally published in March 2007, and has been updated for the April 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Women & Power
    Women & Power
    by Mary Beard
    The treatise Women & Power: A Manifesto discusses a scene in Homer's Odyssey in which Odysseus&...
  • Book Jacket: Speak No Evil
    Speak No Evil
    by Uzodinma Iweala
    Young Nigerian American writer Uzodinma Iweala is fast becoming known as a powerful chronicler of ...
  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.