Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2) by Maureen Johnson

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Available February 26, 2013

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.


Maureen Johnson is back with book 2 in The Shades of London series. As sequels go, this one is pretty stellar.

The Madness Underneath follows Rory as she picks up the pieces after her horrifying ordeal with The Ripper. Going to therapy sessions hasn’t helped since she can’t exactly reveal who she is or the circumstances surrounding her attack. Once thing becomes certain – now that she’s a terminus and has the power to remove ghosts permanently, she’s even more valuable. The return to Wexford is welcomed but Rory does feel like a fish out of water. She's pretty much faking normal and it eats at her. Her awkward reunion with Stephen, Boo and Callum is the only thing that keeps her going. And Stephen, as uptight and rigid as he is about procedure and his personal life, is an odd source of comfort for Rory. Their contrasting natures do at times provide some of the lighter moments in the book, especially when Rory starts on one of her tangents and Stephen has to reel her in.

The new string of murders immediately piques Rory’s interest when she makes a connection between the murders and her attack. Sometimes sequels don’t quite live up to the hype. However, this is a quiet, under-the-radar mind trip  that slowly builds upon Rory’s failure to keep up at school,  her growing isolation from her peers and her deepening involvement with the murders. All this adds to the imbalance and anxiety. You don't quite realize it's all falling to pieces until it actually does.

The Madness Underneath is MUST READ.  The suspense throughout held my attention and I was completely on edge as the ending crept closer leaving me stunned with a cliffhanger I soooooo did not expect!
~ Bel

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