Readers might remember when I reviewed Johnson’s The Name of the Star. Well, this time, we’ll turn our attention to The Madness Underneath, the sequel to The Name of the Star. After her traumatic encounter with the Ripper, Rory has remained under the sheltered care of her parents and therapist in Bristol. Abruptly, however, Rory’s therapist says she can go back to Wexford and her friends. Rory jumps at the chance and returns to the courses and social life that makes up Wexford. However, a series of mysterious deaths and cracks in the floor, along with a new ability, plunges Rory into a new supernatural mystery.
I enjoyed this sequel. I actually had no idea that it was out and happened across it during another browsing session at my public library, and I’m actually disappointed it wasn’t better promoted, as I really enjoyed the first one. Johnson has maintained the suspenseful nature and creative supernatural elements that made the first book so enjoyable to read. I enjoyed Rory quite a bit in this second book. As a character, she felt more solid to me, more involved in the actual telling plot. The book has added some exciting elements and plot elements that hopefully will be resolved in the upcoming books. All in all, this was an exciting, well-built sequel, and, as a result, I’m looking forward to the third book (The Shadow Cabinet, out next year).