Reputation – Sarah Vaughan

The bestselling author of Anatomy of a Scandal returns with a new psychological thriller about a politician whose less-than-perfect personal life is thrust into the spotlight when a body is discovered in her home.

As a politician, Emma has sacrificed a great deal for her career–including her marriage and her relationship with her daughter, Flora. A former teacher, she finds the glare of the spotlight unnerving, particularly when it leads to countless insults, threats, and trolling as she tries to work in the public eye. As a woman, she knows her reputation is worth its weight in gold, but as a politician, she discovers it only takes one slip-up to destroy it completely.

Fourteen-year-old Flora is learning the same hard lessons at school as she encounters heartless bullying. When another teenager takes her own life, Emma lobbies for a new law to protect women and girls from the effects of online abuse. Now, Emma and Flora find their personal lives uncomfortably intersected–but then the unthinkable happens: A man is found dead in Emma’s home, a man she had every reason to be afraid of and to want gone. Fighting to protect her reputation, and determined to protect her family at all costs, Emma is pushed to the limits as the worst happens and her life is torn apart.

Book Information: Print Length: 477 Pages. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK. Publication Date: 3 March 2022

Sarah Vaughan is the international bestselling author of the Number one Netflix TV series, Anatomy of a Scandal, and four other novels. A former journalist, she read English at Oxford before training at the Press Association and spending 11 years at the Guardian as a news reporter and political correspondent. After having her second baby, she left to freelance, and eventually to write fiction. Two women’s fiction novels followed before Anatomy of a Scandal, her 3rd novel and her first courtroom drama/psychological thriller, heralded a new direction and became an instant international bestseller. Sold to 24 countries, it was also a Sunday Times top five bestseller, spending 10 weeks in the top 10 charts; a kindle number 1 bestseller; and one of Richard & Judy’s best dozen books of the decade. In April 2022, it dropped as a six-part Netflix mini-series, written by David E Kelley and Melissa James Gibson, and starring Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery, and Rupert Friend. In its first 3 days, it debuted at number 3 worldwide and was the number 1 most watched Netflix TV show in multiple countries, including the UK and US. In its first 3 days alone, it notched up 40.28 million viewing hours.

Little Disasters, published during the first and third lockdowns, was a Waterstone’s Thriller of the Month and is in the process of being adapted for a UK broadcaster. It was also WH Smith paperback of the month, a Kindle bestseller, and has been published in the US and various other countries. Reputation, published in March 2022, has also been optioned by the team behind Anatomy of a Scandal with a view to being developed for TV. It will be published in the US in July, and in various other countries throughout the year.

My Review:

It’s hard to ignore naughty politicians recently, their behaviour and actions have been all over the media and you would have to live under a rock, with no WiFi to not be aware of the controversary and sleaze in the House of Commons, so Reputation is a timely and topical story about one MP who gets caught up when her private life is thrust into the spotlight in the worst possible scenario.

Emma Webster is a respectable MP, a devoted mother and her star is shining brightly as a dedicated and outspoken back bencher. However, the brighter her star shines the more she is thrust into the public spotlight and becomes a victim of trolling and online abuse.

When one of Emma’s young constituents takes her own life due to a sexual revenge porn post on line, Emma lobbies tirelessly for new laws to protect the victims, however Emma’s teenage daughter makes a terrible spur of the moment decision which affects everyone involved and starts a devasting chain of events culminating in the “accidental” death of a man and Emma finds herself charged with murder.

I can openly admit that I don’t understand much about the inner workings of the House of Commons and politics doesn’t really interest me, however this story is so much more than a “political drama”. It’s about a women’s right to defend herself and her reputation, a mother’s right to protect herself and her daughter and shines a spotlight on the downsides of social media, the press and online bullying.

Reputation is a thought-provoking, topical and timely story about women in the public eye and some very important issues that need to be addressed.

This is a really gripping book, which was fascinating and educational in equal measures. A highly intelligent page-turner.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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