A Child’s Book of True Crime by Chloe Hooper
Author: Chloe Hooper
Publisher: Random House
Reviewed by: Sylvia Loader
Do not be deceived by the title or the animals on the cover – this is certainly not a book for children. It is a stunning debut novel, a look at a true crime by a girl who thinks she has stopped being a child but has not yet mastered the art of being a woman. Written on many different levels it tells of Kate, a young schoolteacher in Tasmania, who is involved in an affair with the father of one of her pupils. Her lover’s wife has just written a book detailing a local twenty year old true crime in which a wife murders her husband’s young mistress. As Kate becomes more and more obsessed with the past crime she sees herself in the role of victim and her grasp of the present weakens. One of the most fascinating aspects of this book are the views of Kate’s class on many life issues, and it appears as if the children are becoming more adult as the adults become more childish. Not exactly a crime story, and certainly not a comfortable book, this is a compelling read.