An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.
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 from Amazon)
ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL certainly comes out at a propitious time. It’s almost like Ms. Vaughan is prescient.
James Whitehouse is a member of the privileged class in England. He’s had a fairly easy life to this point. He’s charming and oozes confidence. How can you not like Me?
Sophie is his wife. They met in Oxford and have 2 children. She’s supported James and his career from the beginning.
Kate is the lawyer attempting to convict James of rape.
ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL bounces between the present, recent past, and Oxford in the early ’90’s. The class divide is sharply presented, especially in the Oxford setting.
Even when we try to relegate the past to the past, it usually stays with us or comes back to haunt us. Ms. Vaughan does an excellent job proving that adage.
The characters are finely drawn, there’re drama and tension-particularly in the courtroom scenes. It’s easy to get caught up in the characters lives, but harder to really like them. Empathize, yes, but I didn’t like any of them.
ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL is a good solid read and it kept my interest. However, it was predictable. No twists or surprises, but still engaging.
Reviewed for Miss Ivy’s Book Nook Take II & Novels Alive TV