4 stars to The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Published February 22, 2013 by katheryn13

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. 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.

In this follow-up to the Edgar Award-nominated The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson adds another layer of spectacularly gruesome details to the streets of London that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.


I really enjoyed this. Despite there not being as much action, chasing, as there was in the first book (this is the reason for the 4 star), I still can’t find much fault with this. Besides that it could have done with more drama.
However, the ending.
A killer

I will try and give a review without saying too much. Wow, do you know how difficult that is?

You start off with Rory in Bristol after the Ripper attack. She’s under house arrest, pretty much, but gradually her parents let her outside for counselling. It’s quite amusing the way Rory thinks, and her characteristics that shine through, almost like she is a real person. I know, shocker. All the stories she makes up, and how the lies she has to tell get bigger and bigger and you can see she’s weaving a web that she’ll end up tripping on any moment.

For certain reasons she goes back to London. She discovers…a few things about herself. She has a power. And she’s not doing so well in school.
Stephen, Boo and Callum are all in this again, and I LOVE them. I have a crush on Stephen, I won’t lie. He might be moody as hell but he is a charmer. Mmm. Jerome and Jazza don’t have as big a part to play, but I still love them, even if Jerome does get on my nerves. Oh and Alastair. He might only be in a bit, but WOW… he cracked me up with each line. I swear.

Things go from bad to worse with Rory and then new characters come into play. There’s Jane, a new therapist that Charlotte, the ever loving girl that she is (sarcasm!) suggests Rory should see, because apparently she’s such a great helper. *eye roll*
You ever read a book, and there’ll be some interaction, a scene with new people, and you can sense there’s something incredibly wrong with them, with the situation, BEFORE the main character involved realises?
I hate that!
But this is what happened to me. I was just reading, as you do, and I found myself muttering “No, Rory. No, don’t be stupid. They’re not good. Come on, don’t do this!” and yet, she would not listen. She just continued her merry way in ignorant bliss until it was too late and I was like, “Yup, told ya so. I knew it. Didn’t I tell you?”

Basic rule: say no to drugs.
That’s all I’m saying.

I’ll tell you, the last couple of chapters were MANIC. Some surprising changes happen, and….I’ll just say this: Stephen.
Stephen …Boo…Callum…RORY!

Yeah I literally can’t say anymore because this kills me.

What a cliff hanger and I look forward to third book. :) I am so glad I got an advanced copy.


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