Book Review: Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Today I have a review for the much-talked-about Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan. This thriller was published this week but I have been seeing it everywhere online for the last few months. Here are my thoughts:

Title: Anatomy of a Scandal
Author: Sarah Vaughan
Published: January 11th 2018 by Simon & Schuster

Blurb: 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? 

Review: Only a few pages in, I realized that I had a really special story in my hands. As it advanced and I learned more about the characters, I became more and more captivated by it, I might even say obsessed with it. I had been hearing great things about this book before I picked it during the last holidays, so I started it with great expectations, but I can tell you that it definitely surpassed all my expectations and I am 100 % sure that this book will be huge this year.

The story is about a charismatic politician with the perfect family, who is accused of rape. But in this story, there are many versions of what happened, making it difficult to know who is telling the truth. Thanks to flashbacks to their university days in Oxford, we learn about not only the current personas of the main characters but also about their past and the actions and events that shaped them. 

All characters in this story are fascinating but I was especially drawn to the lawyer prosecuting the case, Kate, and the politician's wife, Sophie. At the beginning of the story, you might think these woman are complete opposites: the strong and career oriented lawyer vs the supporting and naive wife. But the story has many surprises in story for these characters...

This political thriller is a work of fiction but it could as well be a real story. In fact, every time I watched the news or opened a newspaper in the last few weeks, I expected to find some piece of news related to this case. 

I've read and highly enjoyed Sarah Vaughan's previous books but Anatomy of a Scandal is in whole new league. I've read that her own experience as a court reporter helped her write this story. So I'm not surprised that every scene of this book, especially when the victim takes the stand, feels so real, as if I was there in the public gallery witnessing it all myself. 

As you can tell, I can only praise this book and I highly recommend it. It is only January but Anatomy of a Scandal will be in many top books of 2018 lists, mark my words.

Rating: 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book via Netgally. This is my honest opinion.

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