Fresh from college, Kate Byrne, a 22-year-old, is working in her first job teaching, a fourth grade class in Endport, a small town on the southern coast of Tasmania. Strangely childlike, Kate is embroiled in a love affair with the father of her most gifted student, Lucien Marne. Kate's liaison, Thomas Marne is a successful corporate lawyer in Hobart. The first chapter of 'A Children's True Book of Crime' primarily focuses on the relationship between Thomas Marne and Kate.
Kate struggles out of her black underwear in Thomas's car while he speeds them toward a motel during her school lunch hour. The two appear to be restless in anticipation of fulfilling their sexual desires. Kate makes coarse references to her surroundings, relating passing boulders to "Mouths and tongues, like pornographic things." Thomas begins to lose focus on the road ahead; "[his] driving deteriorated," as his concentration shifts to Kate's flirtatious motions.
When commenting on their surroundings, the attitudes of the two are juxtaposed: Kate marvels at the luxury mansion they pull up to, "It's lovely", "Yes it is," replies Thomas... "clearly agitated".
As the story develops, it is increasingly obvious that Hooper wants us to see that the relationship between Kate and Thomas is solely based on sexual attraction. Thomas comments, "I'm going to rent the bed by the half hour," implies how brief and insignificant these meetings are to him. He appears to be avoiding the commitment of their relationship, constantly reiterating to Kate that the only reason for these meetings is to alleviate boredom: "This is just sex, nothing more." Before arranging a reservation for the hotel room, Thomas reminds Kate the affair is "...to be strictly kept away from the sentimental." I am given the sense that his cautioning appears to be directed not to...