The bestselling author of Anatomy of a Scandal—soon to be a Netflix series—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, the glare of the spotlight is unnerving for Emma, 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.

Another breathless and twisty novel from an absolute “master of suspense” (CrimeReads), Reputation brilliantly illustrates that it isn’t who you are that matters…it’s who people think you are

My Review

When Emma Webster gives up her teaching job to become an MP her life is turned on its head. Her marriage breaks down, her relationship with her daughter is damaged, and she becomes the victim of countless insults, trolling and threats. These include rape threats and even having acid thrown in her face. But she is determined to carry on.

However, she is unnerved by the negative attention, particularly after being accused of only being interested in women’s issues. At one of her surgeries, she is accosted by the father of a soldier, badly affected by PTSD, who accuses her of not caring about what they have been through.

The issue she focuses on is that of ‘revenge porn’ and online abuse against women, a crime she believes needs more legal protection for the victims, more so after one of her constituents tells her what happened to her sister. Emma works with journalist Mike Stokes to bring online abuse into the public eye and gets the law changed.

But in order to be taken seriously, you have to make sure your own reputation is unblemished. Then two separate things happen. Her 14-year-old daughter Flora is subjected to endless bullying at school which results in her taking matters into her own hands and then a man’s body is found at the bottom of the stairs in Emma’s London home. But are they linked? And is Emma telling the truth about what happened?

This is the story of the lengths to which one woman will go to protect her family but can she save her own reputation in doing so. It’s a cracker of a read.

Many thanks to The Pigeonhole, the author and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.

About the Author

Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training with the Press Association, she worked for The Guardian for 11 years as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent before leaving to freelance and write fiction. Her 3rd novel, Anatomy of a Scandal, was an instant international bestseller, a Sunday Times top five bestseller, a kindle number 1 bestseller, a Richard & Judy pick, and was longlisted for the Theakson’s Old Peculier Crime Novel and shortlisted for awards in France, Sweden and the UK. It has been translated into 22 languages and is being adapted for TV. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and two young children.

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