Rory Devereaux received a lot of attention when she was pulled into the investigation of the copycat Ripper murders in London, but she can't tell anyone the truth about what really happened; the murderer was a ghost that very few people, including herself, could see. This information makes dealing with her parents' concern and her therapist's push for answers a little complicated. When she's given the chance to go back to London and Wexford, she takes it. But things are different; Rory is too far behind in her classes to catch up, and some strange murders are occurring once more. When the Shades are reluctant to pay attention to the inconsistencies of the investigations, Rory does her own research...with shocking and fatal consequences.
Rory returns with whole lot of sass and sarcasm, and Johnson's writing is as imaginative, endearing, and entertaining as ever. The circumstances that readers will find Rory in are a bit sobering—she's struggling to deal with the violence she experienced and the need to confide in someone that will take her seriously, and she makes a few errors in judgment as a result of her vulnerability. However, Rory has not become weak. She trusts her instincts, takes action, and does her best to use her abilities to help people, even as she is still struggling to figure out her place in the rag-tag group of people she's come to care for quite a bit. There are some really surprising twists throughout the book that open up the world of the Shades and pose many questions, but Johnson once again leaves readers with a cliffhanger that will generate many questions and theories. Johnson really turns up the tension and suspense as the ghosts appear to be more frightening and the villains don't always vanish with a terminus. The Madness Underneath is a definite must-read, and demands a third book in this mysterious and highly entertaining series.
Cover Comments: I like this cover a lot, and the facelift that the first book in the series got as well. The images are ghostly and a little creepy, and I like the vibrant colors being used.
ARC provided by publisher.