Release date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler
An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.
Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.
Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.
Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.
Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?
This has been one of my most anticipated reads for months, from the minute I saw the title/cover I was interested, scandals, betrayals, lies, and a dash of courtroom drama? Yes please! But while there were many aspects of this one that worked for me, I did have some minor issues that will prevent me from fully endorsing Anatomy of a Scandal.
This is told through multiple perspectives, that of James, his wife Sophie and Kate, the prosecuting attorney and it also flashes back and forth from today to back when they were in college. The plot could’ve been ripped from current headlines, how many times do you watch the news and see a new political sex scandal, too often, right? I definitely liked the juicy storyline and the back and forth wondering if James was guilty or innocent, but for me as much as I enjoyed this at first, I felt like it became pretty long and drawn out by the end. It was also pretty slow as far as pacing goes, which is fine but in the middle I did struggle a bit to stay attentive. The ending wasn’t as resolved as I would’ve liked it to be either so it felt a bit like waiting forever for something that didn’t quite pay off in the end.
While this wasn’t the perfect book for me, it did have many strong points. It was really intelligently written and I liked that it dealt with the issue of consent and how exactly that’s defined. That’s such an important issue and anytime an author is brave enough to tackle something so tricky I have to give them credit. I also have to say that while I found it slow, the fact that it didn’t solely rely on a super fast pacing and crazy plot twists was refreshing. My advice? If the blurb intrigues you, give this a try because you may enjoy it more than I did.
Overall rating: 3/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.