Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London #1
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Date: September 2011
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal
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The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree 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--the only one who can see him. And now Rory has 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 really really enjoyed this book! It was sufficiently creepy, mysterious and action packed to keep me on the edge of my seat and biting my nails!
And I actually found quite a lot of this book rather scary too! I would get to about 10pm and have to put it away because it was making me hear strange noises in my bedroom! And usually scary stories are not really my thing. I’m a wuss. But this one is totally the exception. It was brilliant. I loved the writing style, which was very quirky and witty, I loved the setting of London’s east end, the storyline of the copy cat ripper murders and I especially loved the characters.
The main character, Rory, had a fantastic voice! She is American and comes to London to spend her senior year of school in a British boarding school – right in the heart of ‘ripper’ territory. Now of course her involvement in the murders and discovering the existence of ghosts and ‘ghost hunters’ was all very interesting and exciting but what I actually loved most about Rory was her ‘sarcastic’ attitude to all things British. Her commentary about the food and the people and the weather and school attire was particularly amusing and she has a brilliant way of describing a person or a situation that had me laughing out loud.
She makes some great friends at her new school and a lot of time is spent in her getting used to our way of doing things and getting used to her surroundings and developing genuine friendships with the British kids. I think this was very important. We didn’t jump straight into the ‘ghost’ stuff… that came along just after the half way mark and when it did, it just fit right in. It didn’t feel rushed or out of place. It made sense and it really worked!
And the ending! Oh my, the ending was a real triumph.. there was a great build up to a very climatic ending, the conclusion of which I did not see coming and I loved this! The very last line of the book also left me DYING to read the next one which I will certainly be getting my hands on when it comes out!
A thoroughly enjoyed YA mystery/thriller with a paranormal twist! Highly recommended!