*What to read in 2018?* Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

About this book…

A high-profile marriage thrust into the spotlight. A wife, determined to keep her family safe, must face a prosecutor who believes justice has been a long time coming. A scandal that will rock Westminster. And the women caught at the heart of it. 

Anatomy of a Scandal centres on a high-profile marriage that begins to unravel when the husband is accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is sure her husband, James, is innocent and desperately hopes to protect her precious family from the lies which might ruin them. Kate is the barrister who will prosecute the case – she is equally certain that James is guilty and determined he will pay for his crimes.

My review…

If this is the standard of novel that we are to expect in 2018 then it’s going to be an amazing year! I tried to put this one off until much nearer to the publication date but it just proved to be too tempting especially in light of recent turns of events!

There’s probably no better time to immerse yourself in the scandalous affairs of the self righteous, formidable figures in positions of authority who think that they are unimpeachable. This is a relevant read in the current political atmosphere, which is thick with accusations and allegations of sexual harassment and assaults at the heart of our countries parliament. Sarah Vaughan handles her fictional account of this sensational legal case with an exceptional insight which made me wonder what sort of insider knowledge she actually had as this book cuts very close to the bone at times!

One of the first things that struck me about the way the narrative developed was that it was told from three different points of view. Nothing new about that you may say. But I personally would have expected the third POV, after those of James and his wife Sophie, to have been that of his accuser. But in a cleverly crafted convolution the third viewpoint is that of Kate, the barrister brought in to prosecute James and bring him to justice for the rape she is convinced he is guilty of. This element added an extra dimension to their characterisation allowing us to gradually peel back the layers of mistrust. The narrative flowed with an indecently compelling pace peppered with some rather shocking revelations along the way!

I don’t know why but I felt more uncomfortable and voyeuristic watching the relationship between husband and wife than any interactions between James and his accuser. It felt very raw, packed full of those very personal conversations that only exist between two people who think they know the other person almost as well as they know themselves. Sophie was determined to stand by her husband without hesitation but how well do we really know that person, the one who lays beside us, open and laid bare night after night?

Once started this book will prove impossible to put down. I found it to be a compelling and intuitive portrayal of a marriage in crisis, beautifully written and emotionally hard hitting. It was a brilliantly executed must read for fans of books such as Appletree Yard (a personal favourite of mine and Anatomy of a Scandal compares very favourably indeed!!) so be prepared to be gripped by the book that EVERYONE is going to be talking about in 2018!

Highly recommended by me!

Anatomy of a Scandal: The brilliant, must-read novel of 2018 will be published by Simon and Schuster on 11th January 2018 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK (affiliates link) My review copy came from the publisher via netgalley.

Meet the author…

Sarah Vaughan is a former journalist who now lives in Cambridge with her family. This is her third novel.

Published by


I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

9 thoughts on “*What to read in 2018?* Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan”

Comments are closed.