The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2)
By Maureen Johnson
Published by Penguin Young Readers Group, 2013
304 pages (hardcover)
After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory’s brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she’s become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city’s secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it’s too late. (from barnesandnoble.com)
I’ve been waiting for this book for a while because I really enjoyed The Name of the Star and I Maureen Johnson’s writing is engaging and fun. While this book isn’t my favorite Maureen Johnson book, it was an entertaining read with equal parts sarcasm, mystery, humor, deadly ghosts, and romance.
Overall, what I liked best about this book was the details Johnson gave. Unlike when I read The Secret Garden and skipped over all those detailed paragraphs about flowers and such, The Madness Underneath gave London and Rory’s world life with beautiful details. On the other hand, Rory kind of annoyed me with her (sometimes) lazy attitude and running away from her problems. She makes some stupid decisions throughout the book that do move the plot along, but seem a bit too impulsive for Rory (or most teens in general).
Also, folks, don’t take treats from strangers.