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The Madness Underneath

by Maureen Johnson

Series: Shades of London (2)

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7176723,519 (3.7)11
"After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux is back in London to help solve a new string of inexplicable deaths plaguing the city"--
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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
First of all, this is the middle book in a trilogy. The author does enough to let the reader know what happens in the first book. Rory is in Bristol with her parents and healing from a knife wound given her by the new Ripper. She is seeing a therapist but having some trouble because she can't tell her the real story of what happened in London. Besides signing the Official Secrets Acts, she has real reason to fear that telling her story will cause her to be committed to a psychiatric facility. After all, being attacked by a ghost is not something that is easily believable.

Rory misses her friends at Wexford and especially misses Stephen, Callum and Boo who worked with her as a member of the Shade Squad whose job was to eliminate troublesome ghosts. Since moving to Bristol, she has lost all contact with them. She has also developed a startling new power. She is a living terminus; touching a ghost causes them to disappear.

Meanwhile, things aren't going well for the tean in London. As a result of their encounter with the Ripper, all three of the terminus that allowed them to remove evil ghosts have been lost or broken. The team is in danger of being disbanded leaving all three of them jobless.

Things are manipulated to get Rory back to London and Wexford and potentially save the team. Returning to London and school has problems for Rory. She is so far behind in her schoolwork and exams are so close that she doesn't have a hope of catching up and passing her exams. And she is more interested in a new mystery in which a nearby pub owner was supposedly bludgeoned to death by one of his employees. Some research tells her that the school and the are were built over a former facility where those with mental illnesses were warehoused. She fears that the battle with the Ripper has opened up a crack that is freeing some of those patients now as ghosts.

Rory is also still having issues regarding the battle too. When the head girl Charlotte raves over the therapist she is seeing, Rory decides to see her too. Jane Quaint is a mysterious character who does seem to have helped Charlotte and who helps Rory too after their first session. But Jane has a hidden agenda that runs counter to the work of the team. Jane wants to isolate Rory from her friends and family in order to fulfill Jane's agenda.

Rescue by the team leads to heartbreaking consequences and also leads to a cliffhanger ending. ( )
  kmartin802 | Sep 17, 2019 |
This really picked up in the final hundred pages, but up until then, it had been a tour of daily minutiae by an admittedly charming and entertaining tour guide. Maybe it's just a serious case of middle-book (there's a lot of dealing with first-book consequences and setting up for what looks like interesting third book adventures) but I found this mostly kind of ho-hum. (Perhaps because the teenage issues - letting school get out of hand; boyfriend and friend niggles - are long past urgent in my life.) Now the question: do I read that third book? Hmm. ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
I waited a while to read this book, even though I had loved [b:The Name of the Star|13595639|The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)|Maureen Johnson|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1338652359s/13595639.jpg|14037039]. Heidi's review here in March 2013 really threw me off.

This is absolutely a book in a series, and while I won't spoil anything, there are some shifts made as the protagonist is making some life decisions. That said, I felt the same sense of lurking danger that I felt with L Bray's [b:The Diviners|7728889|The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)|Libba Bray|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1336424966s/7728889.jpg|10501517], and I'm very pleased with the story.

And for the record, Maureen Johnson writes seriously funny dialogue for her characters. I think there's a little bit of her in Rory's character.

So, Goodreads, thanks for teaching me a serious lesson: opinions posted here should hold no influence over my reading choices, unless they're posted by my actual friends. Never will I hesitate to read a great book based on reviews from strangers! ( )
  lrquinn | Jul 6, 2018 |
Sort of saw the ending coming and feel kind of "eh" about it. I love Johnson's books, though, and will snap up the next as soon as it's out. LOVE Rory--her humor and courage and curiosity. More a review after I sleep... ( )
  VanChocStrawberry | Apr 2, 2018 |
addictive ( )
  murphyrules | Feb 23, 2018 |
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For my friend, the real Alexander Newman, who would never let a tiny thing like having twelve strokes get the better of him. When I grow up, I want to be you. (Maybe without the twelve strokes? You know what I mean.)
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Charlie Strong liked his customers - you don't run a pub for twenty-one years if you don't like your customers - but there was something about the quiet in the morning that pleased him to no end.
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"After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux is back in London to help solve a new string of inexplicable deaths plaguing the city"--

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