Tuesday 22 February 2022

Reputation by Sarah Vaughan BLOG TOUR @SarahVaughanAuthor #Reputation @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours #BookReview


Emma Webster is a respectable MP.

 Emma Webster is a devoted mother.

 Emma Webster is innocent of the murder of a tabloid journalist.

 Emma Webster is a liar.

 #Reputation: The story you tell about yourself. And the lies others choose to believe…

Reputation by Sarah Vaughan is published in hardback on 3 March 2022 by Simon & Schuster. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours blog tour.

I have been reading Sarah Vaughan's novels for years now. Beginning with her earlier contemporary fiction novels and then moving on to her more recent thrillers. She's an excellent story teller who writes with conviction and authority. Her background in political journalism really shines though, especially in this, her latest and, in my view, her best book; Reputation. 

Emma Webster was brought up by a father who always asked her 'what are you going to do about it' when she voiced her anger about the world. She is now in her forties and is a Member of Parliament. Her election was something of a shock, she really didn't expect to enter the House of Common so soon. Her plan was to be a councillor for a few years before the move to Parliament. The public can never be relied upon though and her fast track through the ranks was a shock. It was also the cause of her marriage break down and she now shares custody of her fourteen year old daughter Flora with her ex husband.

Emma's aim has always been to fight for women. She is particularly keen to ensure that the victims of revenge porn are protected from media intrusion, and working alongside a constituent whose sister took her own life after becoming a victim online, and with the help of a journalist, she's making waves with her bill, nicknamed 'Amy's Law'.

However, there are other constituents who would prefer that she dealt with other matters, and as a woman in the limelight and in power, she herself is often the victim of vile and threatening internet trolls. The messages, comments and emails directed at her are breathtaking in their horror and hate and Sarah Vaughan does not hold back here. 

After a Guardian interview, accompanied by a photo of Emma showing her at her hardest and best, things escalate and it's not just Emma who is affected. Daughter Flora also suffers at the hands of bullies and it is one mistake made by this frightened child that changes Emma's whole life. 

Emma is on trial for murder. The first serving politician to stand in court accused of this crime and she needs to fight for everything. Most of all, she needs to ensure that her reputation remains intact, whilst also protecting her daughter, the most important person in the world.

This is a terrifying and eye-opening story, written with such style. Vaughan's characters are not always likeable, but they are so believable. We all know about internet trolls, we've all seen comments that really should be taken down, I'm sure we've all blocked people who write them. I know that I have. 

Emma's experiences mirror so many women in the public eye, she's just an ordinary woman who has worked her way up into a place where she could do so much good, but to many, she is just a woman. A figure on whom they can direct their hate and poison and it's often grubby.

This is a story that reflects our time, it is a story that will both shock in its intensity but also induce anger that this continues to happen.

An absolute triumph. Written so well and evoking so many emotions. Highly recommended by me.

Brought up in Devon, Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to become a journalist. 

After training at the Press Association, she spent eleven years at the Guardian as a news reporter, political correspondent and health correspondent, before leaving to freelance and write fiction. 

Anatomy of a Scandal, her third novel was an instant international bestseller and translated into 22 languages, long-listed for the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year 2018 and short-listed for the Audible Sounds of Crime Award, GoodReads Jury’s Out award, French Elle’s Prix des Lectrices and Richard & Judy’s ‘Best of the Decade.’ 

Anatomy of a Scandal has been adapted for screen and will air on Netflix as a six-part series in Spring 2022. 

Little Disasters, her fourth novel, was selected as a Waterstones Thriller of the Month in 2021, has been sold to the US, France, Portugal, Sweden and Spain, and optioned for TV. 

Reputation is her fifth novel.

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