Bram and Fiona have two terrific kids, and the most gorgeous of London homes. So pretty from the outside that people stop to take the occasional photo. So warm and welcoming on the inside that the couple dream of their children bringing up their own families within the same walls. Comfortingly, the house is also a huge asset for the family’s financial future.
OUR HOUSE takes a new slant on modern crime and it is that twitchingly horrifying to know that this sort of thing can actually happen. Your homeowner’s hackles will be well and truly up and ready to attack. OUR HOUSE melds a modern relationship drama with a suspense thriller plot that plays out simultaneously with the discoveries of Fi as she tries to figure out what the hell has taken hold of her (cheating) husband. What happened to Bram that he would sell his own children’s home out from underneath them? Where has he gone?
The absolute unfairness of what is happening to Fi rankles throughout, and it is concern for her that will have the reader galloping through to find out if she ends up okay. It is fair cop to say that there is some middle novel lag, but this is the time needed in which to delve a little more into the backstory of how Fi comes to be in the middle of such a tangled mess. There is never any doubt about who is to blame and we realize that the bad guys aren’t only the ones doing dodgy deals with your title deeds.
Compelling reading, OUR HOUSE is a novel about suspicion, fraud and family. It could easily have been a one trick pony but author Louise Candlish has made sure there is plenty going on in this novel and alternates the viewpoints enough so that we are required to think again about what we have just read. The London suburbs prove to be dense enough to hide the most fractured of families and the deepest of secrets.
ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL, SARAH VAUGHAN
Rich, gorgeous, popular and charismatic would describe the James we meet in the heady years of his enviably sparkling youth. It is easy for James’ friends and family to see where such was a charmed young man will end up. Some people were always meant for the heights.
ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL is a read that is straddling two worlds. It does come across as somewhat like the experience of reading a BBCTV telemovie script, though the book lacks the heavier drama punch that could easily have been included. Kudos to the author for not going down this path of easy entertainment. This lack of visceral description and emotional drama actually serves the read quite well, but you need to be prepared to settle in for the long haul of tackling yet another novel that spends half of its time immured in the ghosts of a collegial past – here, being those of the accused and his wife who met during their university years. This childhood/young adult focus seems to be a bit of thing in domestic thriller novels that have flooded the crime fiction market in the last couple of years.
ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL takes its reader to a certain point of questioning all of the character’s motives, though also at the same time wondering why they are all a bit vague as to what it is that they want. It is far easier in this novel to get a grasp on the perpetrator rather than understand what it is that bolsters up the survivor.
The journalistic background of author Sarah Vaughan is evident in the writing. It is an economical style used here, with multi-faceted viewpoints included that all shade the same incident and varied personal encounters in different hues. The greatest strength of ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL is that it instantly seems quite familiar; we feel we have read of the events detailed in the book somewhere in real life, in the recent past. All the major characters are successful people, living and working in the rarefied atmosphere of the British upper class and its political system. Precious opportunities are squandered, and the privilege of serving your country is taken as a right by its entitled male politicians.
Courtroom dramas are always a treat when done well and those in ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL are the culmination of our reader expectations - eagerly anticipated and not disappointed. Timely and carefully presented, the events in ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL have a greater impact for not being lavishly over dramatized and will continue to spark weighty conversations amongst its readers for some time.