A Child's Book of True Crime

A Novel

A Child's Book of True Crime

With the dark suspense of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and the frank and shocking eroticism of Josephine Hart, this debut novel tells the story of a young teacher’s illicit affair and obsession with a historical murder.

Tasmanian schoolteacher Kate Byrne is having an affair with the father of her most gifted fourth grader, Lucien. Her lover’s wife has just published Murder at Black Swan Point, a true-crime story about the brutal slaying of a young adulteress in a nearby town. Kate herself has become so obsessed with the murder and so convinced that the published account has it all wrong that she sets about writing her own version—this one for children, narrated by Australian animals. Though Lucien’s father brings Kate to life sexually in encounters of escalating eroticism, he cannot dull her obsession. Fixated on the crime of passion, Kate is becoming less and less aware of the present and of how her behavior may align her fate with that of the dead girl. Chloe Hooper chillingly captures this young woman’s unraveling in an intense, witty, superbly crafted novel.
  • Scribner | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743225137 | 
  • April 2003
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About the Author

Chloe Hooper
Photograph by Susan Gordon-Brown

Chloe Hooper

Chloe Hooper was born in Melbourne in 1973. She was educated at the University of Melbourne and as a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University, New York. Her first novel, A Child’s Book of True Crime, was a New York Times Notable Book and short-listed for the Orange Prize. She lives in Australia. 

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