Friday, 3 May 2013

“Keep calm and carry on. Also, stay in and hide because the Ripper is coming.”

Do you like mysteries?  Do you like ghost stories? Do you like teen fiction?  If you answered yes to any and all of these questions then you need to read the wonderful Maureen Johnson's Shades of London series.  I picked up the first book in the series, The Name of the Star as a bargain ebook.  By the time I had finished it I picked up the sequel, The Madness Underneath, at full price and gladly paid every penny for it.  The first book introduces us to Louisiana teenager, Rory, who has just started school in London.  Now at first this book feels very much like your seemingly typical teen boarding school story.  However, there is a pretty major twist.

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago. 
Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities

 It took me a little while to really get into the story but once I did I couldn't put it down.  And the
ending? Holy Moly! If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about.  If you haven't, what are you waiting for?  Be warned, I found the same slow beginning with the sequel but again it packs a punch by the end.  Maureen Johnson may be the queen of can't-put-down endings.

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