Monday 24 December 2012

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Published by Harper Collins in February 2013
Pages - 304
Charlie Strong liked his customers-you don't run a pub for twenty-one years if you don't like your customers - but there was something about the quiet in the morning that pleased him to no end. 
Goodreads Summary
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.
I have to be honest and say I was a little disappointed with this book. I absolutely adored the first book in the series, The Name of  the Star, which had a Jack the Ripper storyline that kept me completely intrigued. The ghosts were also in abundance, where as in this second book I hardly got a glimpse or a whiff of a spirit. I felt this book really suffered from 'second book syndrome' which occurs quite often in series where not a lot seems to happen in between the first and third books. 
I found the story really slow to get going. In the first half of the book we spent a lot of time with Rory getting her life back to normal. I felt that there was a lot of recapping about the first book and unfortunately not enough action taking the story forward. Now don't get me wrong, the writing was good and I do think Maureen Johnson is an extremely talented writer; what I found  lacking in this story was the plot. 
Perhaps my expectations were too high; I had imagined the plot would be intricately linked to another piece of fascinating English history; unfortunately it wasn't. The plot actually carries on from the previous book and the 'madness' referred to was due to the crack in the Earth's surface that occurred in the last book. 
The story has a very conversational style of writing. A lot of the action occurred via the character's speech and I didn't feel as though we witnessed a lot actually happening. 
However the second half of the book did make up for for the first half and the story began to unfold and improve greatly. New characters to the story brought their own surprises and shocking events near the end left me gasping to find out what happened next. I enjoyed the relationship developments which I hadn't seen coming and the camaraderie between the ghost fighters. 
The story does end on a huge cliff hanger, so be prepared to have to wait until the next book to find out more. Not my favourite Maureen Johnson book, but I will still be standing in line for the next instalment. 

1 comment:

  1. Fascinated by all things Jack The Ripper, yhis sounds like a winner.

    Best wishes, I hope tomorrow brings all you wish for.


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