Title: Anatomy of a Scandal
Author: Sarah Vaughan
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Page Count: 400
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.
Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.
Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.
Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.
Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?
First I would like to warn that Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan is a legal thriller that centers around rape so for those that are sensitive to the subject you may want to give this one a pass as there are a few scenes in which it will be described.
The story is told from multiple points of view and also by alternating between current day and by going back into past events when key characters were in college and the events that happened then. This would be one read that I can say that with all the switching it stilled flowed rather nicely and was easy to follow along with the story.
What we have in this book is a very high profile case being tried and all of the participants and their ties to one another. I would say one thing that gave me pause with this story was hearing the details of the rape case being tried. I couldn’t help but think to myself that I really didn’t see the case ever making it to court. Now the book does give some reasoning to why it might but I still was a bit iffy on if it was believable or not to center around those particular details. Rape is a very he said/she said crime and very hard to convict with often bringing in a lot of victim shaming/blaming and having read the statistics before I had wished the case had any different kind of set up.
However, even with my doubts of the believable nature of the setting of the crime and it making it to court I still decided to keep an open mind of the rest of the book. With the ease of engaging myself into the characters and their stories I really did like the twists and turns and how the story turned out overall. Sarah Vaughan turned into an author that I’d definitely pick up something else from again in the future with this legal thriller keeping my attention to the very end.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Find this book online:
About the author:
Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training with the Press Association, she worked for The Guardian for 11 years as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent before leaving to freelance. She started writing fiction the week she turned forty. Anatomy of a Scandal is her third novel and will be published in January 2018 by S&S in the UK, US and Canada, plus other commonwealth countries. It will also be translated into 16 languages. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and two young children and is currently writing her fourth novel.