'Timely and compelling' Shari Lapena, Books of the Year, Sunday Times Crime Club
'People are calling this the new Apple Tree Yard, but I’d beg to differ – fast, pacy and with enough twists and turns to keep you gripped right to the end, I’d argue its infinitely better' The Pool
‘Well-written, pacy and full of twists and turns’ Independent
'Gripping. A savage indictment of class, privilege and toxic masculinity in Britain ... Almost impossible to put down' Louise O’Neill
'Deftly plotted ... with an eerie relevance to the current debate surrounding the attitudes to and experiences of women in Westminster, Hollywood and beyond' Laura Barnett
‘The best courtroom drama since Apple Tree Yard … sensational’ Clare Mackintosh
A high-profile marriage thrust into the spotlight. A wife, determined to keep her family safe, must face a prosecutor who believes justice has been a long time coming. A scandal that will rock Westminster. And the women caught at the heart of it.
Anatomy of a Scandal centres on a high-profile marriage that begins to unravel when the husband is accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is sure her husband, James, is innocent and desperately hopes to protect her precious family from the lies which might ruin them. Kate is the barrister who will prosecute the case – she is equally certain that James is guilty and determined he will pay for his crimes.
'A compulsive read with completely layered characters. Superb' John Boyne
'I love it when a book lives up the hype – and this one does. It is quite shockingly good' Sun
'This page-turning novel reveals the precarious nature of existence as the seemingly perfect lives of Sophie and her husband James unravel… The author anatomises in gripping fashion the inner workings of the corridors of power, as well as the hidden recesses of the mind and heart' Anita Sethi, The Observer
'This clever plot raises many issues of the moment” - Marcel Berlins, The Times
'Once the trial of MP James Whitehouse starts, you could not have prised the book from hands for love or money' Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express
'A plot that is so deftly constructed, you’ll feel as if you’re on a roller coaster wearing a blindfold. It’s an absolute masterpiece – prepare to be very impressed' heat
'A lot of reviews claim that a novel has them ‘hooked from the start’ – but with this story, it’s painfully true … The thorny issue of consent is tackled sensitively, while exploring the consequences of the case on both women and the past demons it exposes' Grazia
'One of the best books you’ll read this year' Closer
‘Sarah Vaughan drip feeds revelations while exploring the power and privilege of political elite’ Good Housekeeping
‘Think last year’s drama Liar with a dash of Apple Tree Yard’ Sunday Mirror: Notebook
‘A timely thriller about marriage, but also about power, who wields it, and how that affects who we believe’ Stylist
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This pacy psychological thriller takes us into the shadowy and scandalised corridors of Westminster when MP James Whitehouse, a close friend of the Prime Minister, is accused of rape. As the story drills into James’s past with his loyal wife Sophie, the secrets haunting prosecuting barrister Kate are also revealed. Each superbly drawn character becomes increasingly unreliable, which sets up an impactful and unpredictable finale. Within the courtroom drama, Sarah Vaughan presents sensitive and intelligent examinations of guilt, trust and ambition.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Anatomy of a scandal
The hype is baffling
I just... don’t understand? How can other authors be recommending this? It’s just so repetitive, you are beaten over the head with unoriginal character tropes... how many times did we need to be told that Kate was married to her job, James was rich and confident, Holly “felt a fraud”? How many times did someone sense that they were getting to the kernel of the issue and Lean In to show it? Many reviews have praised vivid characterisation - but surely it’s easy to recognise the characters because they’ve been done a million times before?
The first star is for Sophie’s redemption, long as it took to come (hard to believe this gal got into Oxford but hey ho). The second is for the research that clearly went into the trial scenes and reflection of legal processes and language.
Overall: predictable, and yet wholly unconvincing...
ps “Oh man. This will be awesome!” said no one about to take drugs ever.
pps The description of northerners trying to fit in had me in stitches (not in a good way).
This is a brilliant & thrilling novel, written from multiple perspectives. Each of the major protagonists tell their own tale, with their paths converging as the drama unfolds. Centred around the abuse of privilege, the author creates a frighteningly plausible plot that grips until the very end.