Small talk can be useful between people in families. But each time I opened my mouth to chat to the Resident IT Consultant about what a marvellously wonderful book my current one was, I stopped myself just in time. I mean, he’s bound to steal anything off me when he hears that. Can’t trust the man. So that was one mistake I didn’t make, re Kate Thompson’s The White Horse Trick.
Whenever I’m in-between reading one of Kate’s books I do make one huge mistake. I decide that much as I love her, she’s a second-level-from-the-top writer. That is high praise, btw. And when I’m reading her books I realise every single time that she’s top-level. Hence my reason for not wanting The White Horse Trick snatched from under my nose.
The book is the third in Kate’s New Policeman trilogy. I have no idea whether she perceived a trilogy when she set out, but it doesn’t matter. It has grown very nicely. And unlike many trilogies, you can easily read every part on its own, without knowing the other books. Why you’d want to is beyond me, but it wouldn’t be annoying the way some other stories depend on each other.
Spread over one hundred years, you first get JJ as a teenager, then as a Dad, and finally as an enhanced old man of about 100. With fairy magic (what else in Ireland?) JJ stopped growing old around 70, so he’s much the same age as his son Donal, who is as lovely at 67 as he was at nine.
Reading this book, somewhat belatedly, but at the same time as the Copenhagen talks about saving the world, was quite shocking. It’s a very unpalatable truth, but it most likely is the truth. Read Kate’s book, and see where we are heading. Glamour gets a totally new meaning.
Kate knows her stuff, whether it’s the environment, fairies or Irish music. And what makes her books so good is the humour. It may be grim, but the humour is there. Very Irish, particularly where Aengus Óg is concerned; charming and happy, but pretty useless. And even the wonderful Pup shows he’s a male towards the end. How typical.
What goes round comes round. Like apples.