Just to deviate from my usual reading I was looking for a Political, or Court, Drama. Anatomy of a Scandal came up in the Amazon search engine when I put both categories in so I thought I’d give it ago, even if it did say “female fiction” as the main category.
Well either I’m in touch with my feminine side or they have the category wrong. I found this to be a thoroughly engrossing read.
The synopsis for the story reads like it should be from a tabloid news front page, but it is written with the panache of a broad sheet.
James Whitehouse is a high profile Conservative MP, a cabinet minister, and a very good friend of the Prime Minister. They have been friends from school and were members of the Libertines at Oxford University.
The story starts with Sophie Whitehouse, his wife, waiting at home for her husband who is uncharacteristically late and out of contact. When he walks through the door he looks worried; and he should be, he’s just about to tell his wife he has been having an affair with a pretty young researcher, and that the press has got hold of the story.
Could it get any worse?
The researcher Olivia Lytton accuses James of rape and he is arrested, and the case goes to court in a high-profile media circus of a hearing.
Sophie decides to stand by her man; but does she believe him.
Kate Woodcroft QC the CPS prosecution Barrister is convinced James is guilty and is prepared to do almost anything, within the law, to see him found guilty.
The story concentrates on the Court hearing whilst flashing back to James and Sophie’s University days and the shenanigans of the Libertines. Will this history show why Sophie is so adamant that James is innocent, or explain why she wants to stand by him? Will it show why Kate is so determined get a guilty verdict.
There are places in this book, where Sarah Vaughan described places and people very deeply, that I have to admit to speed reading or skipping text as; but the story is outstanding.
Throughout the book I found myself taking sides, then changing my opinion. If I had been on the Jury I might have had a hard time reaching a verdict…..at times.
By the end of the book my allegiances were firmly on one side, but I dare say people will have different opinions.
I am so glad I decided to look at a different genre of book.
Publishers: Simon & Schuster UK
Publishing date: 11 January 2018
Available to pre-order on Amazon