The first time Laurie and her dad see the white rider watching them from the deep, cool shadows of the trees, he is alone. Laurie is convinced that his appearance has a meaning, that somehow he is trying to tell them something - something her dad needs to pay attention to. Is the rider somehow linked to the genetic research into squirrels that Laurie is helping her dad with in the lab?
When a second rider with a bloody sword appears alongside the first, and then a third and a fourth, Laurie knows she must try to understand who they are and what they represent. With the help of her brother and his best friend, she discovers what the riders mean but will it be too late to stop the inevitable chain of events that has been set in motion . . .?
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Such is the force of Thompson's writing that readers find themselves dragged along in her wake . . . powerful stuff, well worth reading - TES
The science and symbolism move towards a crescendo against a backdrop of conflict between Western imperialism and opposing fundamentalism. Secrecy by government adds an extra sharp and topical edge - The Bookseller
Excellent new story from the winner of last year's Whitbread and Guardian prizes - Publishing News
A different kind of fantasy . . . Gripping - Observer
It's pacy and powerful - a great read for our perilous times. It reminded me of Alan Garner and Madeleine L'Engle - and certainly an elegant addition to their genre - Siobhan Dowd
Kate Thompson is one of the most exciting authors writing for young people today for she is a born storyteller, 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 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 and the in augural Irish BA Award for Children's Books in 2006 and has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal.
Kate also won the CBI Bisto Book of the Year 2006 with The New Policeman for the fourth time. She is the only author in history of the awards to do so!