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The New Policeman

The New Policeman

by Kate Thompson

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Overview

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.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061975745
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Series: New Policeman Trilogy , #1
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 849,864
Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

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.

Read an Excerpt

The New Policeman


By Kate Thompson

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Kate Thompson
All right reserved.



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 school.

J.J. stood in front of him. "Go on. What did she tell you?"

Jimmy might have been able to wriggle his way out of it and pretend it was a bluff, but he had been overheard. He and J.J. were no longer alone. Two other lads, Aidan Currie and Mike Ford, had overheard and had come to join in.

"Go on, Jimmy," said Aidan. "You may as well tell him."

"Yeah," said Mike. "If he doesn't knowhe must be the only person in the county who doesn't."

The bell rang for the end of the morning break. They all ignored it.

"Know what?" said J.J. He felt cold, terrified, not of something that might happen but of something that he might find inside himself; in his blood.

"It was a long time ago," said Jimmy, still trying to retract.

"What was?"

"One of the Liddys . . ." Jimmy said something else but he mumbled it beneath his breath and J.J. couldn't hear. It sounded like "burgled the beast."

The teacher on yard duty was calling them in. Jimmy began to walk toward the school. The others fell in.

"He did what?" said J.J.

"Forget it," said Jimmy.

It was Aidan Currie who said it, loud enough for J.J. or anyone else to hear. "Sure, everyone knows about it. Your great-granddad. J.J. Liddy, same as yourself. He murdered the priest."

J.J. stopped in his tracks. "No way!"

"He did, so," said Mike. "And all for the sake of an old wooden flute."

"You're a shower of liars!" said J.J.

The boys, except for Jimmy, laughed.

"Always mad for the music, the same Liddys," said Mike.

He began to hop and skip toward the school in a goofy parody of Irish dancing. Aidan trotted beside him, singing an out-of-tune version of "The Irish Washerwoman." Jimmy glanced back at J.J. and, his head down, followed them as they went back in.

J.J. stood alone in the yard. It couldn't be true. But he knew, now that he thought about it, that there had always been something behind the way some of the local people regarded him and his family. A lot of people in the community came to the céilís and the set-dancing classes that were held at his house on Saturdays. They had always come, and their parents and grandparents had come before them. In recent years the numbers had increased dramatically with the influx of new people into the area. Some of them came from thirty miles away and more. But there was, and always had been, a large number of local people who would have nothing to do with the Liddys or their music. They didn't exactly cross the street to avoid J.J. and his family, but they didn't talk to them either. J.J., if he'd thought about it at all, had assumed it was because his parents were one of the only couples in the district who weren't married, but what if that wasn't the reason? What if it had really happened? Could J.J. be descended from a murderer?

"Liddy!"

The teacher was standing at the door, waiting for him.

J.J. hesitated. For a moment it seemed to him that there was no way he could set foot inside that school again. Then the solution came to him.

The teacher closed the door behind him. "What do you think you were doing, standing out there like a lemon?"

"Sorry," said J.J. "I didn't realize you were talking to me."

"Who else would I be talking to?"

"My name's Byrne," said J.J. "My mother's name is Liddy all right, but my father's name is Byrne. I'm J.J. Byrne."



Continues...

Excerpted from The New Policeman by Kate Thompson Copyright © 2007 by Kate Thompson. Excerpted by permission.
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