Wednesday 10 January 2018


Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

You know a book is a good one when early buzz starts almost a year before publication date. The chatter surrounding Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan was particularly promising, and for good reason. I read this most excellent thriller back in June and have recommended it extensively online and offline since. And when a novel can stay memorable over six months and 50-odd books down the line, and I am still endlessly gushing about it to anyone willing to give me a listening ear (and even some people who don't!), you're onto a true winner.

Focusing on an alleged rape case involving a well-known politician, Anatomy of a Scandal is an eerily timely thriller for the 21st century as sexual allegations involving people in the spotlight are unfortunately dominating headlines far too frequently in recent months. Sarah Vaughan's novel might be fictional, but with her expertise of courtroom journalism adding a high level of realism, combined with the state of current affairs, the novel reads anything but. It could just as easily be an in-depth exploration of a genuine case.

In alternating chapters the shocking story slowly unravels from three different perspectives: the accused James, his seemingly naive wife Sophie who believes in his innocence regardless of the evidence that comes to light, and prosecuting lawyer Kate who is determined to prove that James is guilty of the crime he's accused of – and then some.

All three players have their own agendas, some lingering just below the surface and others hiding far deeper down. And as they are slowly unraveled, a case that seemed clear-cut from the start suddenly becomes far less so. As a reader you'll start doubting the evidence at hand as much as the characters, until you're no longer certain about who is in the right and who is in the wrong...

You don't know what the word 'gripping' means until you've read Anatomy of a Scandal. Wow! I'd been intrigued by the concept of this novel ever since I heard about it back in February 2017 at a blogger event at the Simon & Schuster offices and was absolutely thrilled when an advance copy arrived in the mail not much later – especially since it isn't released until this week. Talk about an early proof!

And what a privilege it has been to discover the world so meticulously created by author Sarah Vaughan. This is a court room thriller, political thriller and marriage thriller all wrapped into one incredibly gripping package. I whizzed through it in just a mere few days, I was *that* entranced by this truly unputdownable crime novel, and desperate to discover the shocking truth at its heart. 

This is actually not the genre I generally tend to pick up, but I have loved Sarah's books all the way back to the much sweeter The Art of Baking Blind, and the hugely intriguing concept of her latest book completely pulled me in. And boy am I glad I decided to dive into this brilliant story, because with it Sarah has single-handedly turned me into a thriller convert. 

With incredibly tight plotting, shocking revelations, amazingly complex characters and a chillingly timely story, this is one brilliant book you cannot miss in 2018!

Anatomy of a Scandal will be published by Simon & Schuster on 11 January 2018 and you can pre-order your copy now from Foyles (or your own preferred retailer).

🎵 Listening to: Nick & Simon – Rosanne
🔹 Mood: Cold

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