The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publication date: September 29, 2011
Published by: Putnam Juvenile
ISBN: 0399256601
Publication Order
The Madness Underneath
The Name of the Star is the first book of the Shades of London series, written by Maureen Johnson.

Official SummaryEdit

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.


Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux flies to London for the start of a new life at boarding school. But her arrival is overshadowed by a sudden outbreak of brutal murders, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific work of Jack the Ripper.

'Rippermania' grabs hold of London, and the police are stumped with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory has seen their prime suspect on the school grounds. But her friend Jazza didn't see anyone.

So why could only Rory see him? And what is he planning to do next?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense and romance, Rory discovers the secrets of London and the truth about her own shocking abilities, as Jack the Ripper returns...

Plot (to be added)

Italic = Other character bylines

Normal = The story so far

The CCTV is watching as Claire Jenkins is rushing towards her work, concious of the time as she is running late. After a few fumbled attempts at texting, she's sent sprawling as she trips over something which she had not seen. The darkness of the early morning makes it impossible for her to see as she reaches around for her phone, eventually finding it as she pats the ground around her. She starts to get up, but realises that she is wet; her hands all sticky with something she knows all too well. The nurse that she is, she recognises blood instantly and also realises that it can't be hers as it's too sticky and congealed - not a sign of new blood, therefore telling her that the blood had been around prior to her fall. She realises that she is surrounded by the sticky fluid, and now identifies the thing that she had tripped over as a corpse. Horror sweeps over her as she reaches out towards the body, reaching for the head of the dead person. Her stomach lurches as she realises that there is an empty space where the head should be, the head itself barely attached to the neck. She runs to the police. The eyes had seen it all.

Rory flies to London from Benouville, catching a plane that was late as hurricanes had hit her town, causing her to fly alone to the UK whilst her parents waited for another flight to Bristol so they could teach at the university there. After 11 hours on the plane, she disembarks to find an old man waiting for her. He identifies himself as Mr.Franks, the chauffeur for Wexford Sixth Form, and so Rory begins the drive down to her new college-of-one-year. Whilst in the car, Mr. Franks tells her about the Ripper terror and excitement that has started to settle over London. The radio in the car also blares with the news of the murder of Rachel Belanger, the first victim of the copycat Ripper. Rory doesn't understand the hype around these murders, and so her mind is filled with other things as she is driven into Wexford, where Claudia awaits to introduce her to Wexford.  And so Rory enters the college, where she will now be living for the next year.

Claudia settles Rory into Wexford by showing her school schedule, and also 'persuading' Rory to take up Hockey as her Physical Education option. After her tests and schedules have been nailed down, Claudia takes her on a tour of Hawthorne, the girls' block of Wexford. Rory's taken up to her room and she unpacks all her possessions. After familiarising herself with the Wexford uniform, she starts to settle down before the head-girl, Charlotte, comes to take her down to the school refectory. Rory gets her lunch and integrates herself with a few more of the pupils, even conversing with a prefect named Jerome. Eventually, Rory returns to her room and mills around, trying to make herself more comfortable in her room. After settling in, Rory turns on the TV, only to find more new on the Ripper-like murders that have been taking place very close to Wexford.

Rory wakes up the next morning to find her room-mate, Julianne Benton (or Jazza as she likes to be called) moving in with the help of her mum - the two familiarise themselves with each other and find they get on well. After waking up early to the intense shower system in Hawthorne, Rory's first day as a student begins. She wasn't impressed and finds the whole school day ridiculous, not helped by her introductory lesson to Hockey where she forgot her mouth guard. At dinner, whilst describing her Cousin Diane's Healing Angel Ministry to the Jazza and the prefects, Rory chokes on her dinner, enough to experience an empty white light devoid of nothing as she nearly dies. However, she is saved by the heimlich manoeuvre and is taken to the San by Charlotte and Jazza. Jazza tends to her after Rory returns to her room and the two bond further.

The next morning, Rory gets severely beaten in her hockey game and is sore all over, not to mention smarting from the multitude of lessons she had in that day. After getting her English Literature assignment, Rory goes to Wexford Library in the hope of finding some material that could help her with her essay. She meets Alistair in one of the aisles who disconcerts her due to his nonchalant singing and retro clothing, and he points her in the direction of the books she needs. Alistair then continues to openly stare at Rory, and she quickly leaves.

After a week at Wexford, Rory feels that she doesn't truly fit in with her classmates.


Stephen tells Rory about the Sight

Stephen tells Rory about the Sight









Alternate Book CoversEdit


A gorgeously written, chilling, atmospheric thriller. The streets of London have never been so sinister or so romantic.
~ Cassandra Clare, from bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments

An unputdownable thrill ride that will leave you gasping, laughing, and dreaming of London.
~ Ally Carter, from bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls series and Heist Girls

This book made me want to give up everything, move to London, and fight ghosts.
~ Holly Black, from bestselling author of Modern Faerie Tale series

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