Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan
James is a Member of Parliament and a crony of the current Prime Minister. His wife Sophie feels very lucky to have a loving, successful, handsome husband, a lovely home, and two charming children. One woman threatens to ruin it all with the secret she is about to reveal, but Sophie doesn’t believe the young woman and vows to stand by James no matter what. Kate is the barrister who is to prosecute the case, her specialty: high-profile sex crimes. Kate is zealous in her prosecution as always, but this time is different for Kate and she is determined James will be punished for his crimes…all of them. Sophie and James have been together since their time at Oxford, and there is something from those many years ago that Sophie doesn’t know and could change everything if she finds out. What starts out as a pretty straight forward case…and story…quickly takes a sinister turn and takes readers into dark places as the tension edges up and secrets are revealed.
The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen
Ellery Hathaway is a police officer in the quiet suburb of Woodbury, MA where she is sleeping with the chief of police, Sam, and where she waits each July around her birthday for another resident to disappear. Ellery, once Abigail, is the only person who survived the serial killer Francis Coben who is on death row. Yet for the past three years, someone has sent Ellery an anonymous birthday card and shortly after someone disappears and is never found. Sam doesn’t think there is any connection to Ellery’s kidnapping so she turns to the one person she thinks will help her, FBI agent Reed Markham, the man who rescued her, the man who has written the book about her case, and the man who is currently on leave from the FBI after a botched case. Markham has to investigate unofficially, but when a pair of hands belonging to the first young woman who disappeared, Coben’s signature was to remove the victim’s hands, appear on Ellery’s front porch she knows she isn’t crazy and is more determined than ever to solve the case before there is another victim. This first novel by the winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition is full of twists and turns, and damaged characters. Though then ending may feel a little rushed, and in need of a more detailed motive, there is enough interest to keep readers turning the pages as they follow Ellery, Markham, and Ellery’s dog Speed Bump down the dark road into Ellery’s past which has found its way into her present.