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? (From Goodreads)
I rate this book a 4 out of 5 Stars.
Thank you to Atria Books and Goodreads for sending me a copy of this ARC from a Giveaway I entered.
So, first and foremost TRIGGER WARNING!!! It’s not made obvious when you read the synopsis of what the terrible crime is and I whole heartedly believe that it should have been. For people who have sensitivities to topics such as rape, you should probably proceed with caution. I am one of those folks, and I went into this book semi-blind so I wasn’t sure what the crime was going to be, but I shortly figured it out.
Now all that aside, I believe that if an author is going to write on this topic, it should be done with tact, without being graphic, violent, and over descriptive. In my opinion, Sarah Vaughan achieved this. I really did like her writing style. When it came to the part in the book when the rape is occurring, it was more of an implication, you knew it was happening, but you didn’t have to read every horrific detail. I am grateful for that, because if it had been the other way I would have surely DNF’D it.
James is a total scumbag and the most despicable male character I have probably ever read about. Thankfully there are few chapters from his perspective. I did like Kate, I think her character made this book easier to take, Sophie not really a fan of, the old adage of stand by your man, makes me think of her. I had wished she were more strong, and more independent.
I have said before that I take it as a sign of a remarkable author to write a book that evokes multiple emotions, and one that can make me both love and hate the book at the same time. I will continue to follow Sarah Vaughan and I will continue to read her books. I will include an order link at the end of this review. And guys if you have read this, please let me know your thoughts in the comments.