Thursday 11 January 2018

Review: Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

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: Everyone told me I was going to love this book and there's always a danger going into a book with those stakes that you're not going to love it but I really enjoyed this novel. It was intense, it was empowering and it was completely relevant and easy to relate to. This book does have a trigger warning for sexual violence.

The structure of this novel is one of the things I liked about it best. It has multiple narratives. Enough to keep you reading so you can find out what one party had to think about an event or a revelation but not too many that you're confused as to who is who. I am a big fan of multiple narratives and I really do think that the way this book is structured is part of what makes it such a page turner. It also has a couple of different time frames, the heading of each chapter always makes it clear what particular period of time you're in, right down to the date, however so the time shift is handled well and isn't confusing at all. 

Now the characters. The main characters here are two fabulous women named Kate and Sophie. You know I love a book with a strong female lead and this time I got two for the price of one. The best part about these characters is that you get to see them grow in strength over the course of the book. They are both put in difficult situations and we get to see them, not only now they are the women they are today, but also a glimpse of how they were in the past. I loved the character development of these women and I am sure you will be able to relate to these two protagonists from the word go to. 

There is of course a villain in this story, although, as you can see from the blurb, we don't really know whether or not he really is a villain. He is incredibly well written. He made me very uncomfortable and yet I could recognise traits of him in people I have come across and people who have been in the media recently. 

The issue of politics and nepotism is also dealt with in this book. Some might think that this makes the book a little dry and distracts from those two kick-ass female leads, but I found the political side of this novel really interesting. It's great to have a little glimpse into a world I will never be part of and I haven't really read many books dealing with this subject. This writer deals with this side of the story line really well and makes me wonder whether I would enjoy more books dealing with the ins and outs of Westminster!

Overall this was a great read and definitely the epitome of a page turner. There are definitely some moments designed to make the reader feel uncomfortable and it really is effective at drawing you in and getting you to sympathise with both of the main protagonists. I really enjoyed this book and even if you don't normally read books that cover court cases, I really think you will enjoy this one as much as I did. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US (comes out on 23rd January in the US)

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