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Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Anatomy of a Scandal

Thriller / Suspense   Books of the Month   Family Drama   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   
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January 2018 Book of the Month

This brilliantly biting thriller explores the unpleasant underbelly of power in all its forms, from the all-pervasive influence of the privileged elite, to the deeply embedded, deeply devastating patriarchal power that can permeate the most personal of relationships. Handsome, charismatic James is a rising political figure. Best friend to the Prime Minister since their decadent days as members of Oxford University’s exclusive Libertines society, he seems to have it all - privilege, power, plus perfect children with Sophie, the attractive wife he met at Oxford. When James has an affair, and is later accused of an appalling crime, Sophie is hurt beyond words, but remains loyal. “Of course he is innocent,” she tells herself. “Despite the humiliation he has heaped on her”, despite the heinousness of the crime he stands accused of, she still “wants James”. But Kate, the sharp-minded, socially-conscious prosecuting barrister, is certain he’s guilty, and set on proving it. She’s all too aware of the damaging effects of social inequalities, of there being one rule for wealthy Etonian types with the weight of the elite establishment behind them, and another rule for the less privileged, and for women.

This is a full-on, all-out page-turner from start to finish, with many moments that will induce outraged fist shaking (the courtroom scenes during which James’s lawyer ruthlessly cross-examines his accuser being one pertinent example). Tense and timely, this relentlessly potent read raises important questions about contemporary Britain while it grips. ~ Joanne Owen

If you like Sarah Vaughan you might also like to read books by Jenny Colgan, Mhairi McFarlane and Fern Britton.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Carolyn Huckfield - 'The most current and relevant story I have read in a long time. Finally a story that leads to figures in positions of power no longer being untouchable.'
  • Maz Tucker - 'Really well written and a great look at our modern legal system.'
  • Nicola Edwards - 'A suspenseful legal thriller that will keep you hooked until the end!'
  • Linde Merrick - 'What an amazingly gripping novel Sarah Vaughan has written in Anatomy of a Scandal! I found myself totally caught up in this psychological drama and found it impossible to put down.'
  • Rebecca Cockeram - 'Timely thriller about accusations of rape and if we really know a person we’ve lived with for years. However I didn’t like any character and really didn’t care enough in the end.'
  • Dana Captainino - 'This is a well-paced legal thriller which could transfer straightaway to the screen and almost feels like it has been written for that purpose.'
  • Adrienne Kinsella - 'A gripping thriller, filled with suspense, in which a cleverly woven plot focused on the privileged elite of English society, builds to a fascinating courtroom drama and ends with a cunning twist.'
  • Lesley Hart - 'I really enjoyed this legal psychological thriller, following the rape trial of a junior government aid and perpetrated in the Houses of Parliament. I thoroughly recommend this book.'
  • Les Wood - 'If you like political intrigue and long for a politicians downfall (or not) this is the one for you.'

Win Books from the Manon Bradshaw Thriller Series!

Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

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. 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.


'You want to believe your husband. She wants to destroy him. `The best courtroom drama since Apple Tree Yard ... sensational' Clare Mackintosh

`A compelling and cautionary story about how we can never truly know someone else; how even after twelve years of marriage, a wife might not know everything about her husband. Brilliant, shocking, and gripping, once I started, I couldn't stop reading' Claire Fuller, bestselling author of Our Endless Numbered Days

'That rare book that combines great writing, spot-on characterisation and a compulsive, page-turning narrative. I read it in one breathless day. Set against a fascinating backdrop of the Houses of Parliament, the Old Bailey and Oxford University, think House of Cards meets The Secret History. Meticulously researched, this is an outstanding read' Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle

`Anatomy of a Scandal has bestseller written all over it' Veronica Henry, author of The Forever House

`I was hooked right from the start. So beautifully written, clever and compelling. I was gripped right up to the final page' Claire Douglas, bestselling author of The Sisters and Local Girl Missing

`Am I allowed to choose my book of the year in May? Anatomy of a Scandal is astoundingly good - a tour de force. I absolutely loved it' Eve Chase, bestselling author of Black Rabbit Hall

`Fearless, thought-provoking, unflinching, fascinating, beautifully written' Rosie Walsh, author of Ghosted

`Incredibly authentic, highly involving character drama here, in a story that could easily be ripped from the headlines'

About the Author

Sarah Vaughan

Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to become a journalist. After eleven years at the Guardian working as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent, she started freelancing. THE ART OF BAKING BLIND is her first novel and she is now working on her second. Sarah lives near Cambridge with her husband and two small children.

Author Photo © Nikki Wilkinson

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Book Info

Publication date

1st January 2018


Sarah Vaughan

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Simon & Schuster Ltd


400 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Books of the Month
Family Drama
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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