Anatomy of a Scandal
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“A nuanced story line perfectly in tune with our #metoo times.” —People, Book of the Week
“One of the season’s most buzzed-about thrillers.” —Bookish
“A strong choice for book clubs. Former political correspondent Vaughan makes an impressive debut with this savvy, propulsive courtroom drama.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Vaughan offers gripping insight into a political scandal’s hidden machinations and the tension between justice and privilege…Absorbing, polished.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Skillfully interweaving the story of the unfolding scandal, Vaughan gradually reveals just how shockingly high the stakes are…Sinewy…engrossing, twist-filled.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Some people’s secrets are darker than others.
Sophie Whitehouse has a lovely home, two adorable children, and a handsome, successful husband. In other words, she has the “perfect” life. But everything changes the night her husband James comes home and confesses an indiscretion. Suddenly, her neat, ordered world is turned upside down. Did she ever really know the man she married?
And, as it turns out, James’s revelation is just the tip of the iceberg. He stands accused of a terrible crime. But, the truth is even more shocking than anyone ever could have thought. Is James the guilty perpetrator or an innocent victim of a toxic agenda?
In this riveting story of love, revenge, and deception, no one’s motives are pure, but some people’s secrets are much darker than others.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This pacy psychological thriller revolves around British Parliament member James Whitehouse, a close friend of the Prime Minister who's accused of raping an assistant. As the story drills into the ambitious politician's past and his relationship with his wife Sophie, we also learn more about Kate, the woman prosecuting this high-profile, sensationalized criminal trial. Sarah Vaughan's characters are all a little suspect and unreliable, setting up an impactful and unpredictable finale. Anatomy of a Scandal is a striking courtroom drama that explores themes of sexual assault, misogyny, trust, and betrayal.
Cases don't come much higher-profile than the potential career-maker assigned to driven British barrister Kate Woodcroft, QC: prosecuting golden boy junior Home Office minister James Whitehouse, the prime minister's best friend since their boyhood at Eton, for raping the young parliamentary researcher with whom he recently ended a brief affair in a lift at the House of Commons, no less. But the focus isn't simply the he said she said courtroom fencing match, but deeper truths about the nature of privilege and power. Skillfully interweaving the story of the unfolding scandal with James's and his wife Sophie's student days at Oxford as well the drug-fueled, swept-under-the-carpet tragedy there that has informed his relationship with the PM ever since Vaughan gradually reveals just how shockingly high the stakes are. Such is the strength of this sinewy novel from Vaughan (The Farm at the Edge of the World) that the glossy, tabloid-ready surface proves one of the less interesting facets of the engrossing, twist-filled tale that unspools.
A resonant page turner
It’s hard to find a book these days that’s both well written and addictive. I read the entire book on a cross country flight and I’m still thinking about the characters and the quality of writing. Excellent.
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Interesting but poorly written
The story is compelling, but it feels as if this were written by a college sophomore - way too much tired metaphor and exposition. Where was the editor??