Book review: Anatomy of a Scandal

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 21st January 2018

The sky is grey, the wind is howling and mist has obliterated our views of the sea. Yes, it’s a miserable January Sunday and the only thing to do is curl up on the sofa and settle down with a good book.

Luckily I’m spoilt for choice. Along with Jane Harper’s sequel to The Dry (one of my top reads in 2017), Joanna Cannon’s Three Things About Elsie and Still Me by Jojo Moyes there’s the riveting Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan.

Vaughan is a former news reporter and political correspondent and this is her must-read second novel. It’s essentially the story of three people – Kate, a high-flying barrister tasked with prosecuting a friend of the prime minister who’s been accused of raping a colleague, James, the politician in question, and Sophie, the wife who believes he’s innocent.

The novel focuses on each of the trio in turn and my sympathies switched from one to the other and back again as the plot progressed. I had no idea what the denouement of the trial would be, although there was one major plot twist halfway through that I did predict.

With stories of sexual harassment dominating the media the theme of this novel is timely. But what makes Anatomy of a Scandal stand out from the crowd is its intelligent writing, emotional depth and utter authenticity. Vaughan’s years of reporting court cases at the Old Bailey have stood her in good stead and I can’t wait to read her next book. In other words Anatomy of a Scandal is a surefire bestseller.

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan (Simon & Schuster, £12.99)

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