Book Review: Anatomy of a Scandal – Sarah Vaughan

4 stars

Title: Anatomy of a Scanda
Author: Sarah Vaughan
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books 
Release date: January 23rd 2018
Genre: Mystery


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?


This book is about a scandal. A very public scandal about an affair between a junior minister and his employee that has gone bad. She accuses him of rape, he says that she’s just bitter because he ended their affair. But, who is speaking the truth?

We quickly learn that this book is about much more than just this scandal. There is a whole big history of scandals going back decades. All the characters know each other in one way or another and it makes this story that much more interesting. This book has everything to become a bestseller. It has great characters and a gripping story line.

The writing style of this book is very pleasant to read. It’s easy and very cleverly written. It’s also very easy to imagine this story to be a real one. Sometimes I needed to reminded myself that it was just a story and not something that was really happening. At times, I felt so angry for the injustice of everything that was happening. I just love it when a book can make you feel like it’s all completely real.

This book has many elite characters, They went to the best universities and were the most popular students there. It’s interesting to read about the life of some of the young privileged elite who think the world is built to serve them. The book keeps you in it’s grip from page one, new revelations happen at every turn of the page and it makes it a fast read that makes you forget time and all those other things you still had to do.

I loved how complex the characters were. Kate, is the lawyer hired to prosecute this case and is someone I really liked. She’s always been a bit of an underdog and this makes her very easy to relate to. She’s had a really hard time in the past and this has changes her a lot through the years. James, the suspect and a junior minister is a character that is very easy to dislike, he is one of those people who have everything handed to them and they aren’t used to getting a no as an answer. The good thing about his character is that he isn’t just a bad guy. He is also a loving father who wants the best for his children. Sophie, James’s wife is a bit naïve. She’s smart, but because she was born into a wealthy family and married rich, she isn’t really used to the “real life”. I felt quite sorry for her throughout the whole book.

This book is suited for everyone who likes mystery or suspense books. If you’er looking for a new read in this genre, don’t hesitate and pick this one!


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