Review: The Madness Underneath by: Maureen Johnson

Buy it on Amazon. Find it on Goodreads.

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.

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 have a confession. I... didn't read the first book. The wonderful news? Maureen Johnson isn't one of those authors who forgets to remind readers of what happened in the previous book(s). In other words? I wasn't lost at all. It left me with the basic understanding of book 1, just as it should.

This book really ended up surprising me. It wasn't omygosh-what-the-heck-just-happened-in-the-name-of-awesomeness fast-paced, but it -dare I say- stayed at a refreshing medium pace. It was not slow, but it didn't make me drop my marbles either. It was the pace I'd expect from a Contemp., which I liked.

It's just one of those books that let's you read without remembering that you're reading. With a steady pace that, while it did take me around corners, kept me holding on for the joy ride.

Rory, the main character, is strong but overly trusting. I loved her. I related to her. There was not one decision she made that I couldn't defend for her.
Her friends were great as well, and some of them I wish we'd have gotten to see more out of.

I felt like you do when you're up 'till 4 A.M. in the morning (which I am right now.. which is irrelevant) and you're there but you don't always remember everything that happens. 

So yes, I enjoyed it. A lot. But if you ask me to take a quiz on it, I probably wouldn't have a very impressive score. I have a good feeling associated with it.. but I can't pick out too many specific moments.

Suspense? Ehhh, more like natural development. While there were things I didn't see coming, I wasn't constantly on the edge of my seat.

The ending was great, but I felt like the cliffhanger's solution is obvious. When the next book comes out will I be running to the store? Probably. I really like the author's style and humor. But I'm not eagerly waiting to find out what happens, because if what I think happens doesn't happen, I'm putting the book down and not reading another word. It's just the only way.

Romance was present and it really just added so much to the story for me.

On another note, if you have a Twitter, you should follow this author. She's hilarious and adventurous. That's all there is to it. :)

Should you read it? If you like a book with a steady pace, great characters you'll really fall for, and ghosts... go for it! I enjoyed it.



I'd like to thank Cuddlebuggery's #LBBA program for my ARC of this. I will also note that it was my cousin's, but she is no longer reviewing so I did it for her. I am not a participant in this program myself, because our stats exceed the max limit for participants.

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