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Anatomy of a Scandal

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  9,056 Ratings  ·  1,418 Reviews
You want to believe your husband. She wants to destroy him.

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 -
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published January 11th 2018 by Simon & Schuster UK
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Bronwyn He does say that he had been faithful since he married Sophie until he met Olivia! For me, there were far to many flaws in each of the characters.…moreHe does say that he had been faithful since he married Sophie until he met Olivia! For me, there were far to many flaws in each of the characters. Absolutely no way someone like James would have given up his bits-on-the-side married or not!!!!!(less)
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Emily May
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Men can make fools of us all.

I LOVE a good courtroom drama.

I can't help it. My idea of the inside of a courtroom is heavily-influenced by years of watching Law & Order and, these days, watching Annalise Keating brutally taking down prosecutors and witnesses in How to Get Away With Murder. I love the (completely sensationalized) battle of wits, the dramatic "object, your honor!", the tense moment before the verdict is revealed.

And Anatomy of a Scandal has all of that and more.

There's sever
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

4.5 Stars!!

With everything that has been going on in the world recently, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this timely novel.

Kate Woodcroft’s work is her life. Divorced with no children, she’s practiced law for many years. She specializes in prosecuting sexual crimes and she is no stranger to difficult cases. However, today she is in a bad mood after losing a case. But then her long time clerk, Brian comes to s
Chelsea Humphrey
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Holly B
Shelves: from-publisher
Sophie never thought of her husband as a liar. She knows he dissembles, yes. That's part of his job... A prerequisite, even, to being a government minister. But she has never imagined he would lie to her. Or rather, that he might have a life she knows nothing about: a secret that could detonate beneath her lovingly maintained world and blow it apart forever. 

Another excellent and timely read folks! Anatomy of a Scandal was brilliant and will likely be well-accepted by the crowd who enjoys their
Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-mystery
”But the truth is, women are often scared of antagonizing their assailants or they feel conflicted; not so very long ago they may have been charmed by them. And we women aim to please. It is hardwired into us that we should placate and mollify---bend our will to that of men. Oh, some of us have fought against that, and we’re seen as hard-nosed, difficult, assertive, shrewish. We pay the penalty. Why don’t I have a proper, live-in partner? It’s not just because I’m unsure if I can trust anyone su ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i thought this was going to be another domestic suspense book - a story of crime and marriage full of misleading clues to veer the reader off course, with lies and secrets and conflicting unreliable narrators. and it sort of is, but it’s much broader in scope and less circuitous in structure.

with a kaleidoscope of sexual misconduct allegations making up the backdrop of any given day’s news lately, this is certainly a timely book: james whitehouse, a happily married man of privilege and power, a
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The process of reconstructing one's life......

Brick by brick. Story by story. Lie built upon lie.

We all leave our footprints planted in the ground of our past. Do we even recognize their familiar forms when trampled on time and again by others? Blurred attempts both intentional and not.

Kate Woodcroft pours herself a stout one to mellow out the night. Being a barrister in London assigned to difficult cases involving violence of a sexual nature has an ember that is only accelerated by that drink.
As the title suggests this is the story of a scandal, that happened some years ago among Britain's elite citizenry. In fact it involves a Junior Minister in the House of Commons, one James Whitehouse. I’m sure we have all met men like James: tall, good looking, suave and charismatic, uncommonly gifted, able to work a room and have most everyone eating from his hands. Yet here he stands before us in a Court of Law accused of one of the most heinous crimes one can commit against another. The burde ...more
Holly  B

An clever, scandalous, courtroom drama! I was obsessed from start to finish.

It has all the elements that make a story compelling to me. The vivid characters with the added appeal of having their POV written with emotion and details that bring them to life. The characters were intriguing and would definitely have enjoyed discussing this with someone while reading it together. The plot was perfectly thought out with an explosive twist! The ending was also very satisfying and left me feeling e
4.5 Stars.

Addictive writing....Secrets....Lies....and a Perfectly Satisfying last line!

Kate Woodcroft is a QC (Queen's Court) Barrister for the prosecution of sex crimes in London, and she just lost a case...not something that happens often. She likes to win and plans on doing just that with the scandalous high-profile case of a charming, handsome and manipulative politician....JM (Junior Minister) James Whitehouse.

ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL takes the reader back in time 25 years to meet some of Kat

Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was completely captivated, intrigued, and fascinated, with this fast-paced intelligent, timely and relevant novel.

James Whitehouse is a member of the Parliament, and until he was charged with
rape —( at the point of penetration, did James understand that Olivia Clarissa Lytton did not consent to sex?), he was a junior minister in the government. He is married to Sophie whom he has two children with.

James admits his adultery to Sophie ‘before’ the story breaks out to the public. His affair was
Carol (Bookaria)
You will not know who to believe in this novel of intrigue and past secrets.

James Whitehouse is a a successful politician who has been married to his wife Sophie for over a decade. Both are attractive, attended Oxford and are respected members of their community. One day James is accused of rape, the victim is a young researcher that works in James's office.  She also had an affair with the accused that ended abruptly two weeks before the event took place.

Your job (if you decided to take it) is
Diane S ☔
3.5 A case that could be taken from the daily headlines in the United States. A politician is being charged with rape, a man who is a long time friend and has the long time support of the prime minister. A man who is married, with two children, a family who he swears he loves. A man who readily confesses to having an affair with the claimant, but insists the sexual act was consensual.

A very slow paced book, in fact I do believe there were some incidences that could have been cut, but that is onl
Susanne Strong
3 Stars.

James, Junior Minister of England, and his wife Sophie are caught in a fierce legal battle against Kate, a barrister who represents Olivia, in a case in which James has been charged with sexual assault. Olivia and James had an affair and James swears that what happened between them was a consensual act. For Jame’s wife Sophie? Well, her world comes crashing down before her. Kate knows that James is guilty and she is going to make him pay.

Every character in this book had something to hid
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Well, talk about perfect timing. The Me, Too movement is the one constant on the news nowadays. And here comes a novel about a junior minister in the British government, a dear friend of the PM, accused of the rape of his research assistant. The book is told from multiple POV -Sophie, his wife, Kate, the prosecutor, James, the man himself, as well as Holly, a girl from their days at Oxford, and her friend, Ali.

Let me say straight off, I have no tolerance for anyone committing adultery. So, in m
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A high 4 stars!

So incredibly timely... Sarah Vaughan may have been prescient when she decided to write Anatomy of a Scandal, but this book sure resonates with the MeToo surge of focus on sexual assault and harassment, especially involving men abusing positions of power.

But no one should be deterred from reading this one for fear that it's an easy attempt to cash in on a hot topic or for fear that it's violent or graphically exploitative of the topic. On the contrary... Vaughan took care in writi
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
2.5 stars

This novel follows the aftermath of and investigation into a sexual assault scandal involving a high power politician and one of his employees.

I found the storyline intriguing enough to keep me curious until the end, however, this novel really dragged for me. I found the pacing slow, the characters unlikeable and the content jumped all over the place. I had a hard time staying focused and felt that there were several parts of the book that could have been omitted while not taking away
Brenda - Traveling Sister
I started off lost in the prickly, weedy dark craggy coulee with four of my Traveling Sisters reading Anatomy of a Scandal with only one of us staying in this coulee and the rest of us leaving to find a grassy spot to take a nap.

Anatomy of a Scandal is a slow-burning, intelligent legal thriller that explores a scandal amongst the privileged and the women involved. For most of us, we struggled with this one grabbing our attention from the start and had to fight the urge to crawl into a nice grass
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intricate, dark, and compelling!

Anatomy of a Scandal is a gripping tale that reminds us that justice may not always be blind in the face of privilege, politics, charisma, and power and that rape has devastating and enduring emotional and psychological effects on its victims.

The story is told from differing perspectives; James, a handsome, entitled politician accused of a heinous crime; Sophie, a dependable, intelligent wife who believes in her husband's innocence; and Kate the tough, tenacious b
⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5

My reviews and (maybe) some other random thoughts can also be seen at


Anatomy of a Scandal is another one of those books that is rather hard for me to review. While I did like the book, I found myself wanting to skim a few times. The writing was impeccable, and you can tell that Sarah Vaughan really knows her stuff (I can't even imagine how much research she had to put into this book for
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
First I would like to warn that Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan is a legal thriller that centers around rape so for those that are sensitive to the subject you may want to give this one a pass as there are a few scenes in which it will be described.

The story is told from multiple points of view and also by alternating between current day and by going back into past events when key characters were in college and the events that happened then. This would be one read that I can say that with
Anatomy of a Scandal was an excellent read - timely, gutsy and nuanced.

Who's Sarah Vaughan and why has she escaped my attention?

I've seen mixed reviews of this novel, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was curious enough to request it. There was some sort of mix up with the approval/archiving date, so the kind people at Simon & Schuster Australia sent me the printed book. Lucky me.

The first impression was very good: great title, stunning cover (I loved its textured feel as well). I was e
Nov 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star, read-in-2017
EDIT: Something was nagging me about my review, and I realized I forgot to talk about how disgusting this book talks about Androgynous people. I've added it in bold near the bottom.

Okay it's time to put on my big girl panties and review this book.

Firstly, I want to thank Atria books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book by sending me a review copy. They are my favourite publisher, and while I didn't enjoy this book, that still remains because I have never disliked one of the
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*My rating would be somewhere between 4 and 5 stars if I could give such a graded rating but I'm going to be generous and give it 5 stars for being so well written!

A quote from the author's afterword: "Anatomy of a Scandal involved venturing into dark places most of us would prefer not to think about." The scandal involves a successful, handsome and charismatic member of parliament, married with two young children, whose affair with a young, beautiful woman is made public, followed by an accusa
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
10 stars. Absolutely loved everything about this book!
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Anatomy of a Scandal is also the anatomy of a marriage, showing how the foundation stones can be damaged early in the relationship, leading to the later widening of hairline cracks that then threaten to bring down the whole structure.

James Whitehouse, handsome, urbane and wealthy and a self assured Oxford graduate, admired by both men and women, is a Junior Minister in the British cabinet and personal friend of the PM. At college they were both members of the Libertines, an elite dining club for
Liz Barnsley
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly authentic, highly involving character drama here, in a story that could easily be ripped from the headlines.

Sarah Vaughan delves into a world of privilege and power, showing one scandal and criminal prosecution from many angles with insightful and realistic storytelling. Emotionally resonant with often teeth gnashing inducing truths about the system, Anatomy of a Scandal is really quite incredibly addictive and will leave you with a lot to think about.

Brilliant stuff. Full review at
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yay, another book worth the hype!! I am so happy that I enjoyed Anatomy of a Scandal as much as most readers seem to, because a lot of books that received this much attention have ended up being a bit disappointing for me lately. This was not only very timely in its subject matter, but it was so character driven, which I loved! Also, the writing was really good, definitely a cut above the typical psychological thriller. I don't want to say much about the plot for fear of spoiling it for anyone, ...more
Anatomy of a Scandal was a suspenseful book centered around a British politician accused of assault and the parties it affects, including him, briefly, his wife, Sophie, and the barrister prosecuting the case, Kate. It’s a dark story about justice and privilege, and relevant to many events currently going on in our world today.

I didn’t have trouble keeping track of the characters, but just as I was starting to grow impatient with how the past story and the present were connected, details were r

James Whitehouse seems to have it all. He grew up privileged, went to school at Eton and Oxford, and is now a junior government minister with a promising future. James has a beautiful wife, Sophie, and two sweet children, Emily and Toby - whom he dotes on. For her part, Sophie adores her husband - a tall, handsome, charismatic man who still makes her heart flutter after twelve years of marriage.

Unfortunately, a costly mistake is about to shatter James' world.

James was a 'player' in his youth,
Joanne Robertson
If this is the standard of novel that we are to expect in 2018 then it’s going to be an amazing year! I tried to put this one off until much nearer to the publication date but it just proved to be too tempting especially in light of recent turns of events!

There’s probably no better time to immerse yourself in the scandalous affairs of the self righteous, formidable figures in positions of authority who think that they are unimpeachable. This is a relevant read in the current political atmosphere
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Around the Year i...: Anatomy of a Scandal, by Sarah Vaughn 1 16 Jun 27, 2018 08:11AM  
Very Timely book 2 30 Feb 13, 2018 06:11AM  
Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training with the Press Association, she worked for The Guardian for 11 years as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent before leaving to freelance. She started writing fiction the week she turned forty. Anatomy of a Scandal is her third novel and will be published in January 2018 by S&S in th ...more

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“And she, having forgotten, felt ashamed, for he was chivalry itself once she stopped behaving as if he was to be feared,” 1 likes
“It is hardwired into us that we should placate and mollify: bend our will to that of men.” 0 likes
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