book blog · book review

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

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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?

*Synopsis and photo from Goodreads

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*I would like to thank the publisher, Simon and Schuster UK Fiction, and NetGalley for the copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

Anatomy of a Scandal is an engaging legal thriller and what sets it apart from the others is how it bravely tackles a sensitive subject that is rape. So, be warned that if you’re the type who’s not comfortable on the subject, you might want to skip this one.

Sophie Whitehouse is a stay at home mom of two kids and a wife of a public figure. Her life is so close to perfect many wished they had. Until one day, her life was rocked by a scandal. James, her loving husband and father to their kids, was exposed to be having an affair with one of his subordinate, a much younger woman. Sophie was beyond hurt. But because of his job, Sophie swallowed the anger and betrayal she’s feeling and show to everyone that she supports her husband no matter what the issue being thrown at him. Just like what his best friend who happens to be the prime minister did. But not long after, they are slammed with a much more serious scandal. James was accused of rape. A crime she wholeheartedly believed her charming husband is not capable of. But this time, the prime minister gave them a wide berth. On the other hand, Kate Woodcroft, the lawyer who was tasked to handle the prosecution against James, has a good reason to believe that he is guilty of the crime and she will do everything in her power to make sure that James will pay for what he did. But she also knows it won’t be easy. The guy is charismatic and well-liked by people. Can she really go up against a powerful person like James and bring justice to his victim?

Anatomy of a Scandal certainly makes for an interesting read. Not only because it focused on a delicate matter but also having a public figure loved by many as the accused added extra intrigue to the story. I had a hard time sticking to it at first as it switched from one time period to another in which the pace is slow. But once I get past the introductory chapters and things get on a smooth albeit steady pace, I got engrossed with the story and didn’t let go until the end. Told from multiple points of view, but mainly focused on Sophie and Kate, going between the past and the present, it gives a different perspective on the story. It also showed how the characters are connected with each other, how they are when they were younger and how they ended up with the life they are leading at the present. And as the story delved deeper into the characters past and their secrets, it also realistically tackle the matter of rape. One where a victim believed it is not consensual sex while the other believed otherwise. Which raised an important question on when does a consensual sex cross the line and turned into rape? A question which was answered thoroughly in the book. It is evident that the author researched well on the subject.

The story also showed how people react to such heinous act and how it’s so easy for some to put the blame on the victim. Sadly, it happened every time in reality and this book can’t be timely enough. The twist was revealed a little early for my liking but it doesn’t really affect the satisfaction of reading this book as there are more surprises in store towards the end. Though the ending seemed a little rushed, it still managed to wrapped things up satisfactorily. Overall, while Anatomy of a Scandal deals with a tough subject, it is definitely a page-turner that’s worth reading.

RATING:

4andhalfhearts

des-pink

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