Monday, October 31, 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Rory's parents are professors who have a gig teaching a year abroad in England. Instead of staying at home in Louisiana, Rory decides to have an adventure of her own, going to boarding school in London. She's barely got her bags unpacked and her sheets tucked in when the rest of the country (and farther) starts paying attention to Rory's new town.

Jack the Ripper had made headlines in 1888 for a series of murders that remained unsolved. On the day Rory arrives at school, the news media catches word of what may be a copy-cat killer who strikes on the anniversary of the Jack the Ripper murder. As the murders continue on the same timeline as Jack's, "ripper-mania" grabs hold of the newspapers, television stations and the public as well. Soon Rory and her classmates are glued to their monitors, waiting to see when this new-Ripper will strike again.

When Rory spots something strange on the night of one of the attacks she becomes much more involved in cracking the case than she'd like to be. This new Jack the Ripper is not to be messed with and Rory may have just gotten too close for comfort...

What follows is a really exciting, really surprising, novel full of twists and turns. Maureen Johnson has always delivered with smart, funny heroines (see our many reviews of her books) but this one also takes you along on a rip-roaring mystery. It's fast-moving and even scary at some times. Plus you get to go abroad to London as an added bonus.

We've been waiting for this book for a long time (we tried to get you a review earlier by grabbing a copy of the ARC at Book Expo America, but we were thwarted) and sometimes all that hype can put your expectations up too high. Maureen Johnson can handle the hype, this book delivered. It was a read-all-in-one-go sort of book and the perfect thing for a little Halloween spine chilling.

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