Anatomy of a Scandal: A Novel by Sarah VaughanAnatomy of a Scandal: A Novel by Sarah Vaughan

Anatomy of a Scandal: A Novel

bySarah Vaughan

Paperback | January 23, 2018

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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?
Title:Anatomy of a Scandal: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:January 23, 2018Publisher:Emily Bestler BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501192825

ISBN - 13:9781501192821

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read! Very interesting. I found my attitude changing towards the characters the more I learned about their secrets.
Date published: 2018-04-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Job! This book grabs you at the start and doesn't let go.
Date published: 2018-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Interesting Mystery & Character Drama Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy of this book - all thoughts and opinions are my own. This was a terrific read, that was incredibly poignant and thought provoking around the conversation of consent. James is a loving husband and father, a charismatic politician moving swiftly up the ranks until he finds himself accused of a horrific crime. Sophie, his wife, college sweetheart, and mother of his children, is determined to stand by him, to hold her family together through this crisis that is rocking them to their foundations as a family. Kate is the lawyer who will prosecute the case; tough, determined and focused on seeing justice handed out to those guilty of the crimes they commit. She is convinced of James' guilt and confident in her ability to ensure he pays the price. But who really knows the truth of what happened? Who can be sure of James' innocence or guilt? Soon Sophie finds herself doubting the man she has spent her life loving, and wondering how badly she may have misjudged the man she married. I really enjoyed this as a story, and found myself moving through it quickly. I loved the twists, that kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next. I will, however, say I found the style of writing somewhat distracting from the story itself - Sarah Vaughan uses an almost excessive amount of description in her writing, and I found that to pull me out of the story from time to time, as I would lose track of where the chapter was meant to be taking the story. However, once I settled into the book, I found it easier to keep pace. Overall, this was a great read, and one that I think will be popular with book clubs, as this dishes out so many meaty topics to discuss.
Date published: 2018-02-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointing thriller I want to preface my review by giving a trigger warning. This story is about a trial for rape. There were some graphic scenes that made me uncomfortable. This book really wasn’t for me. The beginning was a little hard to follow because there were so many characters that were introduced all at once. Also, the timelines jumped between when the event happened to the trial, as well as back to 1993, when some of the characters were in school at Oxford. There was a twist halfway through the story, but it fell flat for me. I had already predicted what would happen before it was stated. After that, the story changed from being about a man on trial to a woman seeking revenge. That changed the morality of the story and made justice seem less important. The ending was supposed to reveal a big event, but I didn’t think it was as controversial as implied. I was really disappointed in this thriller, because it wasn’t as shocking as I thought it would be. I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Thought it was an interesting read to pass the time. It really shows how a character deals with the scandal that happens in their life and what secrets are revealed
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent read "Anatomy of a Scandal" deals with the lives of James, a British MP and minor minister, and his wife Sophie. The book relates their experiences at Oxford in 1993 and also details their lives currently. When a scandal threatens their lives, the reader is drawn into both their past and present. I found the book riveting and couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2018-02-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Really wanted to love it but.... A look into the life of the rich and privileged who tend to get the better end of the deal in situations. An interesting topic with everything that is going on today (sexual assault allegations) but, the book read slowly and monotone for me. Still, a decent read.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from "The truth is a tricky issue." There have been so many amazing releases so far this year. Sarah Vaughan's latest novel, Anatomy of a Scandal is another great read to add to your TBR list! Anatomy: "A study of the structure or internal workings of something." Scandal: "An action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage." Politician James Whitehouse reveals to his wife Sophie the affair that he has been having an affair with his beautiful young assistant. Not because he's overly penitent, but because she has accused him of rape - and that fact is about to be disclosed by the press. Kate is the prosecuting barrister assigned to the case. She specializes in sexual abuse cases. Anatomy of a Scandal is told mainly through the eyes of Sophie and Kate. We are privy to Sophie's worries, hurt, doubts and stoicism. Vaughan does an excellent job depicting her thoughts. But, I found my self hard pressed to like or empathize with her. On the other side of the coin is Kate. She has her own reasons for wanting to win this case. Those reasons become clear as the book progresses - and I was firmly in her camp. There are chapters that give us a glimpse into the past at Oxford University. And those glimpses explain much. James too has a voice. Again, Vaughan's characterization is so effective - I had a visceral reaction to James and his cavalier attitude and actions. |There are so many layers to this story - that the wealthy and privileged are treated differently in the court system, the ties of old boys' networks, schooling, tradition, breeding and political connections. What of the actual case and barristers? Is it about justice or about winning? "The truth is a tricky issue. Rightly or wrongly, adversarial advocacy is not really an inquiry into the truth." Vaughan's author note says "Anatomy of a Scandal owes much to my experience as a news reporter, political correspondent, and student reading English at Oxford...." That background makes this novel so very believable and not so far from the truth I think. The case and the verdict are of course a large focus of the book - and are very well done. But, for this reader it was the characters, their inner dialogue and decisions that kept me eagerly turning pages. It's also a bit of a slower burn. Those looking for a fast paced thriller won't find it here. Those looking for a timely novel - one that mirrors many actual headlines - will enjoy this introspective look into a scandal.
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from doesn't live up to the hype SUCH POTENTIAL. 2.5 star read. Ok - so this book read like an entire "House of Cards" season (and you could mix the original British version with the American version to really hit what this book was like) and an episode of "Silk" - basically, it read like it should be on television and not so much a novel. So many little subplots, which were all really really well developed and described ... but overly so. Sarah Vaughan described everything to the point that I felt like I was being ambushed with words. Her editor should have cut out paragraphs and pages - we still would have gotten the same meaning, but not as drawn out or repetitive. Kate - the barrister who reminded me of the main character from "Silk" - is prosecuting a young, handsome, charismatic Minister of the Crown, James, of raping his assistant ... a claim that is further complicated by the fact that they (James and his assistant) did have an affair, and the claim of rape was once he had called off their relationship. Kate specializes in rape and sexual assault cases, and you have to wonder, what happened to her to make her take on such difficult and emotionally trying cases? James - the young Minister, best friend to the Prime Minister, who never has to answer for his actions and assumes that everything he touches will turn to gold. Has he met his match? Or will he be able to convince a jury of his peers that what happened in the elevator between him and the victim was nothing more than an aggressive sexual encounter, consented by both parties? Sophie - James' wife and keeper of his secrets. This trial brings up memories of their past at Oxford, while also forcing her to question if her life is really what it appears to be, if her husband and their relationship really is as solid and loving as she believed it to be. And then we have the subplot of Holly - Sophie's English literature partner at Oxford, who has a mild crush on the handsome James, but is far too shy and inexperienced to ever approach him. Holly is the character that helps move along the past story-line (that implicate Sophie and James as well). All of the characters were well developed, they all had unique perspectives, were able to bring a depth to the plot - my issue is really with the fact that this novel should have been paired down. With a little more restraint it could have been a really solid mystery. Instead it just got lost in its own words.
Date published: 2018-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing very British courtroom drama! Anatomy of a Scandal is a standalone British suspense courtroom drama. The main characters are Sophie, James and Kate. James is a successful and charismatic politician in London. Sophie is the wife who finds out that her husband has been leading a secret life. Kate is a 41 year old criminal barrister/lawyer. She is a prosecutor who mostly specializes in sexual crimes. This book is very British. I do love books that are set in London. However, the author uses a lot of very British terms. I wish that there had been an explanation of these terms. Also there was a lot to do with British legal stuff as well as British government. I would have loved more of an explanation about how those things worked. The timeline begins in December 2016, then goes back to October 2016. Then the time moves forward. Although we are also given glimpses of 1992-1993 when various characters were in university. The narrators are Kate (1st person POV), Sophie (3rd person POV), James (3rd person POV), Holly (3rd person POV). I normally prefer first person POVs. However, the third person POVs were done so well in this book that I almost didn't even notice that I wasn't reading first person. The book started off very strong for me. The storyline was very interesting. And I found what I was reading to be absolutely riveting. I have not read very many courtroom dramas recently. Usually in mysteries I read about a detective trying to solve a case. But in this book we simply have the courtroom proceedings. So we see the case play out in the courtroom. I'm not exactly sure if we are supposed to love Sophie and hate James. I found Sophie sympathetic enough in the present. But I didn't really care for her during the college flashbacks. We didn't get tons from James' POV, but I didn't hate him like I think I was supposed to. Kate was interesting. She was determined and fierce in the courtroom. I was most fascinated by her character and what led her to be the way that she is in the courtroom. There was one amazing wow moment that I did not see coming at all. I had definitely pieced together part of the story. But I was still completely amazed by what the author did. This book is about a political sex scandal. It is he said/she said. It is "who do you believe?" It is "can you get away with any crime if you are rich and charming." The story is very relevant. And I found this aspect of the story to be very thought-provoking. The book was very strong up until the point where the case was decided. Usually the end would have twists and turns leading up to an amazing ending. But the last part of the book was just okay for me. I would have preferred more action towards the end. It was still very interesting. This book was definitely more focused on the characters and less focused on lots of action. Overall though it was a good, very British court drama. Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for allowing me to read this book.
Date published: 2018-01-23