Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan Book Review @SVaughanAuthor @1stMondayCrime

First Monday Crime is back next month at City University, and there is another stellar line-up of brilliant crime writers for next week’s panel. But before I give you the details about who will be appearing, here’s my thoughts on Sarah Vaughan’s brilliant Anatomy of a Scandal, who will be appearing at next week’s panel.


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.


There has been a lot of hype surrounding Sarah Vaughan’s Anatomy of a Scandal, the storyline the plot focuses on is a very topical subject in the news at the moment, if you think back to the recent scandals that have been going on at the heart of government. It really does make you think – who are the people who are in control of our country?

Sarah’s novel focuses on the lives of three central characters, James, the good-looking MP, friend of the Prime Minister and all-round family man. Kate, the young, ambitious barrister, intent on making her mark. And Sophie, James’ wife. The book opens with a shocking admission from a fellow colleague of James in the Houses of Parliament, a young woman claims that he raped her, and the high profile case soon ends up at the Old Bailey. Kate is the prosecutor in this case, and we see that she is determined to destroy James. Sophie on the other hand tries to put on a brave face, as her husband is accused of this most heinous crime, but even her mind is niggling with doubt as she tries to understand what her husband did, and work out if his accuser is telling the truth.

Anatomy of a Scandal is Sarah Vaughan’s first crime thriller, and I hope she will continue to write more. It is part court room drama and part psychological thriller and it is hugely gripping. The novel is impeccably researched, in fact I didn’t feel as though I was reading a novel at all, I felt as though I was there as part of the action and drama of the courtroom and in the scenes at Oxford. There are some shocking scenes in this book which are quite eye opening. What this novel also does well at, is that it offers an interesting insight into how privilege and arrogance can shape a person. In fact it can make them go as far to think they can get away with anything, which is deeply disturbing and Sarah Vaughan portrays this well in her writing.

I cannot recommend this novel highly enough, it is outstanding. If you’re a fan of courtroom dramas such as Apple Tree Yard, you must read this book. I’m really excited to see what Sarah Vaughn will write next.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 11th January 2018

Print length: 400 pages



Sarah Vaughan will be appearing at next month’s First Monday Crime, alongside Elly Griffiths, author of the Dr Ruth Galloway series, Matthew Blakstad, author of Lucky Ghost and Stav Sharez, author of ‘The Intrusions.’ The panel will be chaired by Jake Kerridge. The event is being held at City University on Monday, 5th March 2018 and starts at 6.30 p.m. Tickets are FREE, and after the panel we’re all heading to ‘The Old Ivy’ for a drink. If you would like to attend First Monday Crime, please follow the link below to reserve your space. I hope to see you there.


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