Tuesday, October 22, 2019

YA Book Review: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

The Madness Underneath
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London (Book 2)
Publication: Speak (December 10, 2013)

Description: A new threat haunts the streets of London…

Rory Deveaux has changed in ways she never could have imagined since moving to London and beginning a new life at boarding school. As if her newfound ability to see ghosts hadn’t complicated her life enough, Rory’s recent brush with the Jack the Ripper copycat has left her with an even more unusual and intense power. Now, a new string of inexplicable deaths is threatening London, and Rory has evidence that they are no coincidence. Something sinister is going on, and it is up to her to convince the city’s secret ghost-policing squad to listen before it’s too late.

My Thoughts: 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.

Favorite Quote:
I wasted about a full minute, grinding away the airtime, tilting my head back and forth. It's hard to pretend to think. Thinking doesn't have an action stance. And I suspected that my "thinking" face looked a lot like my "I'm dizzy and may throw up" face.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. This book might be one that I would be interested in. I might have to check for it.


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