Book Review: Anatomy of a Scandal, by Sarah Vaughan

I enjoy legal thrillers. Although very commercial, I openly admit John Grisham and Scott Turow are two of my favorites. It is possible Sarah Vaughan just elbowed her way in between the two. And I am smiling over the intrusion!

Anatomy of a Scandal is an emotional legal drama ripped from the current headlines of today’s news sources. A powerful political figure, James, is initially accused of having sex with a subordinate while at the office. The torrid affair hits the press. Journalists and television crews swarm like paparazzi. While the public relation team works at sweeping everything up all neat and tidy, another damaging blow is delivered.

Kate is a sophisticated barrister. Single, and organized, she dedicates her time and effort on winning cases in the courtroom. For personal reasons, and secrets of her own, she specializes in violent crimes against women. Rape, primarily. Rape cases are often hardest to win. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, and a jury has to belief the victim beyond a shadow of a doubt. After losing a case she knew she should have won, and her spirits are somewhat in need of lifting, Kate jumps at the opportunity to take on a new client. Kate’s client was the woman having the affair with the politician. And while the woman was in love with him, a time did come when she told him to stop, and he did not.

The politician’s wife, Sophie, tries to be strong for her husband. She knows many past dark secrets, and has kept them –kept James safe. Kate never suspected that all of these years later the past and the present might collide and she would once again find herself in a desperate situation. Right and Wrong are one thing. Acceptable and unavoidable are another.

As the details about the Jame’s relationship with his subordinate come to light, Sophie is forced to confront truths she has preferred keeping buried for twenty years.

With taut and crisp courtroom scenes, and poignant and fleshed out flashbacks Vaughan goes on to paint a clear and vibrant portrait of darkness and deception, love and love lost in her thrilling novel Anatomy of a Scandal.

Phillip Tomasso
Author of Absolute Zero
and Damn the Dead 

About the author

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