Aurora (Rory) Deveaux is definitely a Louisiana catfish out of water. Due to her professor parents’ European sabbatical, the gawky Southern teen has just started her senior year at a tony English boarding school called Wexford in the heart of London. Small town Rory couldn’t be more different than her brisk British classmates, and struggles at first to fit in. But soon she is surrounded by new friends and even starts a mild flirtation with Jerome, the cute prefect from the boy’s dorm. Rory’s getting along so well that even the news that a serial killer who models himself after Jack the Ripper is on the loose in London seems more interesting than scary. Until a body shows up on Wexford’s supposedly safe school grounds, and Rory is the only one to see a strange man hovering nearby. Suddenly Rory finds herself at the heart of a terrifying investigation that has even the police baffled. The new Ripper leaves no trace, and even the many closed circuit cameras that are everywhere in London can’t seem to capture him. How can Rory see what the cameras can’t? And what does that mean when it comes to keeping herself and her friends safe from the Ripper’s knife? To say anymore would ruin the shocking secret at the heart of this romantic thriller that starts out like a traditional boarding school romp and then morphs into something that is part horror, part mystery and all quirky, cool Maureen Johnson. Rory, sort of a country cousin to Scarlett Martin, is full of heart and wit, and pitting her against the top serial killers of all time guarantees surprises, shivers and Johnson’s inevitable trademark sarcasm. By the end of book one, Rory discovers her true destiny and let’s just say it’s not a talent for needlework or languages. I can’t wait for the sequel of this projected trilogy! And you won’t be able to either after Star comes to a library, bookstore or e-reader near you.
The Name of the Star: Shades of London, bk. 1 by Maureen Johnson