Note: This review contains spoilers in the bottom! Please don’t read the last paragraph if you haven’t read the book.
Did my husband do it?
That’s the question Sophie has to find out.
Her husband, James, is a successful bureaucrat whose star is rising. One day he is accused of a horrible crime by a female employee whom he was having an affair with. He has to stand in the court and Sophie has to go through this with him.
Kate has to prove James did it. She is a prosecutor having seen so many men walking free after violent crimes against women. This time she is determined to not to let James get away with it.
This novel is a court drama. It is a good one. I can see why people are comparing this book with Apple Tree Yard, however the two books have completely different stands. I think I liked this book better. Apple Tree Yard is more about lust, and how things end up wrong as a result… This is a more fragile book, about deception.
The thing I absolutely LOVED and ADORED in this book is the way it tells how being ‘privileged’ works in Britain. How people from certain backgrounds are always destined to be successful, and win everything with little effort where others have to try hard, work their socks off. The story goes back between past and present. In a past at Oxford University we meet with younger James and Sophie. Then there is Holly, the fragile girl with a working class background trying to stand on her feet in Oxford. I loved Holly’s story. Her confusion after getting to know Oxford and it’s inhabitants better couldn’t be told in a better way.
Sarah Vaughan is also a journalist, which made great contributions to this book I think as it has absolutely atmospheric descriptions of how tense the courtrooms could be. I really liked the way story was told.
The only thing I didn’t like in this book is the ending.
SPOILERS AHEAD! PLEASE DON’T READ IF YOU DIDN’T READ THE BOOK
I wish James was found guilty of what he has done in the lift, rather than the other crime from the past. Rape is rape, it is a violent crime and it is as horrific as the other crimes. So I wish he was actually ruined by that, not the *other thing*. Maybe Vaughan is also being realistic, if two people are involved and if the female is accepting they are sexually attracted to the male, then eyebrows are raised when it comes to rape. It’s annoying really, that people don’t get that a no is a NO. No matter what.