The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events 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. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory 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. -Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads
I didn't read the description very carefully for this book. I saw the GORGEOUS cover, something about Jack the Ripper and maybe ghosts, and knew I had to have it. I'll admit I was disappointed for about half a minute when I realized that this is set in contemporary London and featured an American heroine (I'm an Anglophile. It's a disease). But after that 30 seconds was over, you couldn't have pulled this book out of my hands for love or money.
It. Is. So. Good. Rory's voice rings true immediately and she is a bunch of fun. I was amazed at how authentically written both the American and English characters were, so I checked the bio flap and it turns out she spends her time in both countries. The only other writer I know of who can capture both voices so convincingly is Joss Whedon, who spent much of his student life in England. But I ramble.
This works so well as an American in England story, a school story, a crime thriller (interspersed with Rory's story are occasional chapters detailing the misdeeds of "the modern Ripper," a ghost story, and best and most surprisingly, a paranormal investigation story!! My favorite! ^_^
I spent my time equally snorting over my tea and being on the edge of my seat worrying about the Ripper. Best of all, this is apparently the first in a planned series: The Shades of London. I'm crossing my fingers that the next installments are as good.