Sarah Vaughan | Reputation

The Book: 

Reputation by Sarah Vaughan
Published July 5, 2022 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Date read: October 4, 2023

The Characters: 


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

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, she finds the glare of the spotlight unnerving, 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.

How did Reputation end?

Click here for book spoilers for Reputation
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Reputation, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

Emma was accused of murdering Mike, the tabloid reporter who was threatening to publish an article about how Emma’s daughter Flora had distributed child pornography.

When the trial starts, the reader doesn’t know what happened. It comes out that Mike had broken into Emma’s house. Emma testified that she acted in self-defense, pushing Mike to get him away from her, and it was an accident that he fell down the stairs.

She was found not guilty.

Flora was the one who had sent a text to Mike to lure him to Emma’s house. She just wanted to ask him not to pursue the news store about her, but she was late. By the time she arrived, Mike was being brought out on a stretcher. Caroline told her to keep the secret.

Mike had just found out that Emma had an affair with someone important (Marcus Jameson? I don’t remember who he was) and that Marcus kept pictures of them hooking up. Mike went to Emma’s house to tell her that he’d publish that story instead of the one about Flora. Emma killed him to prevent either one getting out.

I also don’t remember who Rachel was, but she found the pictures of Emma
where Mike had hidden them. She didn’t do anything with them, but planned to use them to blackmail Emma in the future.

The Review: 

Political thrillers aren’t really my jam, and the vibes weren’t there for this one. I just wasn’t feeling it when I listened to it. It’s very slow-paced and somewhat repetitive. I wrote spoilers and even rereading them, I remember next to nothing about the story. Other reviews are glowing, though, so I think I might have just not been in the mood.

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