Series: Shades of London #1
Published by: HarperCollins on September 29, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
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The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.
I’ve never read anything by Maureen Johnson and since I heard so many great things about her, I had to pick up her latest novel and give it a read. It’s different from her usual types of books like “13 Little Blue Envelopes”, but I wanted to see how far her creative juices could travel. Overall, I was thoroughly pleased.
It was the whole mystery and murder premise that drew me in. Even though I didn’t know much about The Ripper, I thought it was a pretty cool story and wanted to see how Maureen would twist it. Obviously, there are ghosts involved, but the way she works them into the story and how her character Rory fits into all this plays out nicely. Maureen sure knows how to paint a realistic picture of life in London and I found Rory’s school life to be particularly entertaining and had me laughing at times, I loved it. Rory was also a highlight of the book as I loved her character and quirky background.
It wasn’t much of a thriller as I thought it was going to be, but since it’s not really a horror story, I guess I shouldn’t expect much. The villain is pretty wicked though. Their history, agenda, and methods is very different and intriguing, a plus to the creative mind of Maureen Johnson. The ending was intense and even the whole “Ripper” plot was well written and had me hooked from the start. I wouldn’t call this a page-turner or one you can’t put down, but it’s a great book and one you won’t want to miss!