Set in London, mostly in the Inner Temple High Court, this engrossing novel is a scrutiny of deceit and abuse of power. Kate, a criminal barrister, has just been awarded the biggest case of her career as well as an opportunity for revenge, seething since her college days. Sophie is a devoted mother and wife of James who has just admitted to having an affair. James, a junior Home Office minister in London’s government, has a promising career if he could only curb his “indiscretions.” James’ latest mistake is colossal, and he is being charged with rape. The trial must go on, dragging Sophie into depths of despair and doubt. Kate, who is prosecuting the case, faces challenges and memories almost beyond her capacity. When it seems like justice has failed one must hope that the human spirit will rebound – but will it?
— From Bunny's Books
Instant International Bestseller "A nuanced story line perfectly in tune with our #metoo times."--People, Book of the Week "One of the season's most buzzed-about thrillers."--Bookish "A strong choice for book clubs. Former political correspondent Vaughan makes an impressive debut with this savvy, propulsive courtroom drama." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Vaughan offers gripping insight into a political scandal's hidden machinations and the tension between justice and privilege...Absorbing, polished."--Booklist (starred review) "Skillfully interweaving the story of the unfolding scandal, Vaughan gradually reveals just how shockingly high the stakes are...Sinewy...engrossing, twist-filled." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) You want to believe your husband. She wants to destroy him.
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?