Review: Anatomy Of A Scandal

Book Title: Anatomy Of A Scandal
Author: Sarah Vaughan
Series: None
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction
Pub Date: 01/23/18

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?


Sophie never thought of her husband as a liar. She knows he dissembles, yes. That’s part of his job… A prerequisite, even, to being a government minister. But she has never imagined he would lie to her. Or rather, that he might have a life she knows nothing about: a secret that could detonate beneath her lovingly maintained world and blow it apart forever. 

Another excellent and timely read folks! Anatomy Of A Scandal was brilliant and will likely be well-accepted by the crowd who enjoys their crime fiction to feature slow burning suspense with heavy doses of legal procedure. As I read this novel, I couldn’t help but notice the apparent experience Vaughan has in this area. The quality of writing and the unfolding of the plot were done so well that only someone who has lived and breathed a part of this world could fashion such details and emotions. This is another suspenseful story featuring a nice twist, so you’ll want to stay away from spoilers and know as little as possible going in to receive the maximum benefit of the wow factor.

She tries to pretend it is never said, but the night is still and the quad empty.
“I’m telling the truth-and I think you know it.”

This entire book circles around the theme of whether or not a person can get away with their transgressions simply because they are privileged, and if so, how many people are willing to bury their head in the sand convincingly. I don’t want to touch on any plot specifics, as it’s too spoilery, but I will say that there are many facets to what appears as a straightforward story. We have an idea of what happens in the beginning, and as more evidence and flashbacks are added to our arsenal, the evidence points in many directions to many different things. This isn’t a story intent on making you to feel sorry for a rapist, or trying to get you to understand what went wrong in his life to cause him to do this; here we more have a story of those around the accused and how they are and were affected by the claims against him. James is immediately an unlikable character in my opinion, and I was glad to not have the distraction of trying to force myself into feeling sorry for him.

He is watching me, closely, and it’s as if he knows exactly what I need to hear. And, though I know the law does not always punish the guilty…I also know that, in the court of public opinion, things are rather different and more than one morally questionable act seems more than a coincidence can-if uttered sufficiently often and loudly-completely ruin a man. 

This book won’t be for everyone, and if you enjoy your thrillers to be action packed with nail-biting suspense, this probably won’t be your cuppa. If you, however, enjoy slow burning drama full of satisfying plot and meaty characters, give this one a try. While the plots are a bit different, I received the same feeling after finishing Anatomy Of A Scandal as I did with He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly. I do believe this type of book will be relevant for many years to come, and while I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one and wish the author much success, I do hope and dream of a day where it’s message of warning and privilege becomes irrelevant. Well done and can’t wait to see more from Sarah Vaughan!

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here. 

12 thoughts on “Review: Anatomy Of A Scandal”

  1. It was too slow for me but I LOVED the ending! That ending is what saved the book for me. I’m ready for more from this author as well!

    Liked by 1 person

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