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The Madness Underneath

The Madness Underneath

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Maureen Johnson

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 22mm | 220g
  • Publication date: 28 March 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0007432275
  • ISBN 13: 9780007432271
  • Sales rank: 34,541

Product description

When madness stalks the streets of London, no one is safe...There's a creepy new terror haunting modern-day London. Fresh from defeating a Jack the Ripper killer, Rory must put her new-found hunting skills to the test before all hell breaks loose...But enemies are not always who you expect them to be and crazy times call for crazy solutions. A thrilling teen mystery.

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Author information

Maureen Johnson was born in Philadelphia, but soon ran off to New York City to study writing and drama at Columbia University. Along the way, she served up hamburgers in the company of mad scientists and talking skeletons in New York, worked in a bar in Piccadilly Circus, nervously worked alongside five tigers in Las Vegas, and once got mixed up with the entire cast of a major West End musical. She is the author of The Key to the Golden Firebird and The Bermudez Triangle. You can visit Maureen online at www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com

Customer reviews

By MissPageTurner 28 Nov 2013 5

If you read my review of THE NAME OF THE STAR then it surely doesn't surprise you that I didn't want to wait a second to start its sequel right after turning the last page. From the beginning THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH sets a slightly different tone than THE NAME OF THE STAR. For instance this second part of Rory's story is not as gruesome and bloody as the Jack the Ripper muderer that had his claws terrifingly close around Rory's neck in the first book.
With Rory uncovering the origin of new ghost occurrences around Wexford, a new kind of psychological tension slowly seeps into the story and through the cracks that once contained the restless patients of a psychiatric unit.

Rory is a character that I could easily imagine being friends with. She's very independent, got a great sense of humour, keeps on babbling about funny things that come to her mind and she's got a strong intuition for what is right and wrong.
I found myself enjoying and soaking up all the interesting little facts Rory researches in relation to the mysterious death in a bar near Wexford. The story wasn't as profoundly supported by such curious details as the first book's case which I guess has to be owed to the popular and widely discussed phenomenon that's immanent to Jack the Ripper.
Rory's life has not nearly returned to normal and she's still trying to deal with her newfound gift, a gift she was left with after a Ripper imitating ghost failed to kill her. But the ghosts are as present as ever and suddenly Rory is of high interest for the group behind the ghost hunting unit of our friends Stephen, Callum and Boo. Facing new missions and mysteries around all kinds of ghosts, the four grow together and form an unbeatable team. I also really appreciated and savoured the time Maureen reserved for Rory and Stephen to get to know each other better and learn to love the little quirks about the other. I rooted for Stephen since the middle of THE NAME OF THE STAR and was hoping for Rory to fall for him, so you can imagine the grin on my face every time these two got some quiet investigative time together.

Life would be too easy if we all could be just friends, so of course there is another group interested in Rory's talents. I wouldn't have minded if the story had countinued with ever new ghostly murder cases and no additional hostile group suddenly appearing and wanting Rory to join their cult.

I thought THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH didn't house as many surprising turns as its predecessor and I mostly guessed what was going to happen until I came to the last thirty pages or so...and the final chapters became a major mood killer! I was so ecstatic one moment, and royally pissed the other! Readers will probably be wondering, how Maureen Johnson could let happen something like that. Right now I can't think of a statisfiable outcome or solution to what we all had to witness!

At one point someone in THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH tells a story and Rory says that she feels like her absorption into the story was total. When she wrote this book Maureen Johnson surely knew that her stories had the very same effect on its readers. And as always the frequently asked question: Why do we have to wait another year for the next book in the series?


4,5/5 ****/* THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH �?�¢?? A terrific and dazzling new shade of YA!

The new crime cases of this sequel might not have fascinated me as much as the original Jack the Ripper murders of THE NAME OF THE STAR, still I couldn't resist the psychologically strong pull of this new SHADES OF LONDON. I fear this series will continue to have me in its killer grip. And doesn't the third book, THE SHADOW CABINET, sound too spooky and nightmarishly good to be true?

By Sarah Elizabeth 08 May 2013 4

(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins Publishers and Netgalley.)
This is book 2 in the 'Shades of London' series, and picks up a couple of months after the end of book 1.
**Warning - some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 'The Name of The Star'**
Following Rory's encounter with the 'Jack the Ripper' copycat in book 1, she's been recovering at her parents rented home in Bristol, and seeing a therapist 3 times a week, even though she can't tell her therapist what really happened in London.

Rory's discovery that she seems to now be a human Terminus means that she knows she has to go back to London though, and she has to try and find Stephen, Boo and Callum and explain to them what has happened.

Finding herself sent back to 'Wexford' Boarding School in London, Rory finds herself concentrating less on her studies, and more on finding the spook squad, and busting some more murderous ghosts. How long can Rory continue neglecting her studies though? Can Charlotte's strange therapist help her too? How long can the ghost busters continue without a working Terminus? And how does Rory feel about her possible future as part of their squad?


This was a great sequel to 'The Name of The Star', I loved Rory, I loved the atmospheric nature of the story, and the ending was so sad it made me cry!

Rory is quite damaged by her previous experiences in London, and it's taking her a while to work through things, especially seeing as she now has no one that she can confide in. She knows that she needs to go back to London, but it's more because she needs people she can talk to, rather than wanting to go back to school. It's really easy to relate to Rory in this respect, because she really is doing her best to recover from her trauma, and she seems to know better than anyone what she needs, even if it's not what everyone else thinks that she needs.

It was good to go back to Wexford and catch up with all of Rory's old friends though, especially when she managed to get back in contact with Stephen, Boo, and Callum. It was obvious how much they all needed each other, and even though Rory wasn't ready to jump straight back into the job, she was able to focus on important things, and help when she was really needed. She even put extra effort into trying to solve a murder which wasn't necessarily unsolved, and kept an eye out for things resembling what happened during her own attack.

There was a small hint of romance in this book, but it was very, very slight. The main storyline was concerned with Rory's recovery, and the new ghostly murders happening in London, and it flowed really well. I liked how it wasn't the same storyline rehashed, and I liked how all the characters had been changed by what had happened in book 1.
The ending to this book was a big shock though! Something totally unexpected and sad and shocking happened which I really wasn't expecting, and it even made me cry! It's obvious that there will be another book after this one, but how Rory will recover from this newest tragedy remains to be seem, I can only assume that she will be even more damaged in the next book than she was in this one which is really sad. I really want to read the next book now though!
Overall; a great ghostly/paranormal YA murder mystery.
8 out of 10.

Review quote

Praise for The Name of the Star: "A gorgeously written, chilling, atmospheric thriller. The streets of London have never been so sinister or so romantic." Cassandra Clare, author of THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS "An unputdownable thrill ride that will leave you gasping, laughing, and dreaming of London." Ally Carter, bestselling author of the GALLAGHER GIRLS series and HEIST SOCIETY "This book made me want to give up everything, move to London, and fight ghosts." Holly Black, bestselling author of MODERN FAERIE TALE series