Anatomy of a Scandal: A Novel by Sarah Vaughan



Sophie has never thought of her husband as a liar. She knows he dissembles, yes. That’s part of his job- a willingness to be economical with the truth.                                                                   

James is quite good at it, playing with the truth. He is charming, handsome, successful, intelligent, a good father, everything that makes him the man people want for their own, or to be! But he is about to plummet from the heights he has attained, accused of a crime, threatening the good life that he and his wife Sophie share. Just how much can privilege protect you from? Could he be a rapist? Are there worse things he has done?

Kate is the prosecuting lawyer, and this case means more to her than simply a win. She is carrying the burden of her own past, weighted with secrets, hungry to see justice served. In her mind, James must be taken down at all costs. Sophie must be blind, or is she? Is James the man he projects out in the world? Could their every intimacy have been lies all this time? Could his life be so secretive that she wouldn’t have noticed the fault lines? What about the betrayals he admits to? Is it just something the wife of such a man should accept? Just because he is guilty of deceiving her, doesn’t mean he could be so brutal as he is accused of being? Every marriage has it’s difficulties, all wives carry their small hurts, and James is so much more than most women are lucky to have. Of course another woman wants to take it away, is out to get him!

How can a moment in Oxford, and a young girls life left devastated by what happened crash into Sophie’s present? The past has it’s hooks in Sophie’s marriage, but will the right person be punished? Who do you believe? Why? What goes on in a marriage can extend outside the bedroom when you invite others in. Power can be protection and a target, as James is about to learn- success comes at a price.

This is about loyalty and love, just how much do we forgive, and should we stand by our spouse regardless of the accusations? It’s about the expectations in a marriage, the things we dismiss that should be confronted. It’s about the abuses of power, the things the elite get away with and how. It’s about life altering moments that create people who seek justice, and how it colors their judgement for better or worse. It’s getting away with things, but the truth always lurks waiting for the perfect moment to rise. The line of sexual encounters is thin, how easy it is to cross what is permitted. In the end, it’s all perspective and one choice comes with ruinous consequences. But for James, is it one big mistake, or many terrible choices that led to this moment? Engaging and provocative.

Publication Date: December 5, 2017

Atria Books





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