Book Review: Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

What’s it about?

A high-profile marriage thrust into the spotlight. A wife, determined to keep her family safe, must face a prosecutor who believes justice has been a long time coming. A scandal that will rock Westminster. And the women caught at the heart of it. 

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 – she is equally certain that James is guilty and determined he will pay for his crimes.




My thoughts

I do love a good courtroom drama with all its tension, suspense and anticipation so really looked forward to this book.  I’ve seen so many reviews, snippets and high praise just lately which prompted me to get on with the ARC I received some time ago.

From the outset I found the majority of the book to be highly addictive.  Told in turn by Holly, Sophie, James and Kate we see how a sexual assault affects those involved and is in effect a breakdown of the repercussions – herein the anatomy of such a scandal.  Given the subject matter it’s not an enjoyable read; in particular the evidence given by the victim is quite brutal and is exactly what you hear of in real trials and the victim and their actions being put on trial themselves.

The book flips back and forward between the early 90s and 2017.  I quite like a dual timeline but this one did confuse me now and again as it’s date specific.  Reading it an ARC on a Kindle is not so easy if you can’t easily flip back and compare the dates.

I liked all the build up, the courtroom scenes and the pomp and ceremony that comes with the British judicial system, this is good stuff.  However, for me, once the verdict had been given, it all went downhill and lost pace and I kind of lost interest.  All the culmination of the trial and the evidence and the did or he didn’t he and then….anticlimax!

That said, I did have a conversation with my daughter and she pointed out to me that had the book ended with the trial and the verdict, I probably would have been unhappy with that and wanted more, to find out what happened next etc.  This is exactly what the author has done, but it left me flat.  Probably because I didn’t like Sophie’s character, or James’ obviously, so wasn’t empathetic at all towards them.  As I’m writing this I’m having difficulty putting my feelings into words, but let me just say it’s no Apple Tree Yard but still a decent enough legal drama!

p.s I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority here!

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Author links: Website | Twitter

Small print for info
Source: Advanced Reading Copy – many thanks!
No of pages: 400
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK


  1. January 23, 2018 / 8:01 am

    I really enjoyed your review! I’ll keep your points in mind when I get my hands on a copy!

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      January 24, 2018 / 6:16 pm

      Thanks Meggy! You’ll probably love ALL of it 🙂

  2. January 23, 2018 / 8:28 am

    This is one book that I really can’t wait to get to, but now looking up Apple Tree Yard (too!). Great review:)

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      January 24, 2018 / 6:18 pm

      Thank you! Apple Tree Yard is one of my favourites so will always recommend that above most others 🙂

  3. January 23, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    Fab review. I liked Apple Tree Yard so it’s good to know that it’s not as good. My expectations won’t be as high!

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      January 24, 2018 / 6:18 pm

      Thank you! Goes back to the hype or like conversation again 🙂

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