J. Liddy is old enough to realize that his family is unique, but young enough not to appreciate that uniqueness. The 15-year-old Irish boy is a fiddler, and a good one, having been raised around music. He and his mother who plays the concertina join up with other musicians on Saturday nights in the Irish coastal town of Kinvara and play late into the evenings. This weekly ritual comes to an end when J.J.’s adolescent yearnings and his family history intersect; he learns to his chagrin that his great-grandfather is believed to have committed a murder, and worse, that the victim was a priest! Kate Thompson’s teen novel The New Policeman opens as this news is imparted by J.J.’s best friend on the school playground. To find out the truth, J.J. must talk to his mother, Helen, and that conversation leads the boy on a quest to find the perfect present for his mother’s birthday more time.
The town of Kinvara is suffering from an ailment all too familiar to denizens of the modern world: There’s not enough time for the good things in life anymore. Some people in the village particularly those attuned to the old ways suspect that the lack of time is more than an illusion. J.J. begins his search for this lost time when he enters the ruin of an ancient Irish ring fort and emerges in the land of the fairy folk, the Tir an n’&andOacute;g.
J. enlists the help of a mysterious and enigmatic faerie named Aengus, who hints that his quest may have bigger implications that he thought possible; the fate of worlds may depend on his actions, if only he has enough time! Winner of Britain’s Whitbread Award for Children’s Book of the Year, 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 (complete with sheet music for those skilled enough to play one), 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.
James Neal Webb believes that if you’re lucky enough to be Irish you’re lucky enough.