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...


Italic = Other character bylines

Normal = The story so far

The CCTV is watching as Claire Jenkins is rushing towards her work, before she's sent sprawling as she trips over something. She reaches around for her phone, eventually finding it as she pats the ground around her. She starts to get up, but slowly realizes she's covered in somebody's blood. Claire reaches towards the body, reaching for the head of the dead person, but only finds empty space where it 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. She disembarks to find an old man waiting for her. He identifies himself as Mr.Franks, the chauffeur for Wexford Sixth Form. 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. 

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 isn't impressed and finds the whole school day ridiculous.. 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

On the 8th of September, Jerome asks Rory and Jazza to go with him to the Flowers and Archers pub. At first Rory assumes that Jerome is asking Jazza on a date, but Jazza reassures Rory that Jerome is interested in her, and needs Jazza there for moral support.

The two girls get dressed, eat dinner, and are soon standing at the back of the crowd in front of the pub with Jerome.

Rory suddenly feels chilly and uncomfortable for some reason, so she takes a step back, and almost bumps into a man, The Ripper, who was standing right behind them.

When she apologizes, The Ripper's eyes widen in shock, but he quickly smiles and lets Rory pass.

The three friends have drinks, and eventually got back to Wexford. Nothing unusual seems like it'll happen that night-until Rory goes to pull the curtains shut before bed and sees a figure standing in front of the building in the rain.

Meanwhile, Veronica Atkins, freelance IT consultant and graphics designer who installed the CCTV cameras at the Flowers and Archers recovers the footage from the night Fiona Chapman was murdered, and puts it up online.

London adapts to an extent, with strict curfews and other things. Rory feels grateful, since it equalizes all the students at Wexford, and gives her nothing to do but study. On September 30th, curfew is strictly enforced at Wexford, and more importantly to Rory, hockey is cancelled. That night, a man's body is found. Jerome, Rory, and Jazza sneak up to the roof to see...Nothing. Nothing happens, so the girls sneak back to their room. On her way in Rory briefly talks to Newman (although she didn't know who he was.) Since Jazza couldn't see him, she freaks out a bit, but Rory reassures her she was just talking to a guy, and they quickly go to sleep. A couple hours later, another body is found on the school grounds. Rory hesitantly describes seeing a man the night before, and she and Jazza are questioned by police, including Stephen. On October 2nd, half of a kidney from the murdered man and a note are sent to a talk--show host. Unfortunately, he's cut off before he can read the final, and most important, sentence.

Boo enrolls in Wexford and becomes Rory and Jazza's third roommate shortly thereafter.

During a field trip to a museum, Jerome and Rory are mutually confused when she sees a woman he doesn't.

Rory walks off and sees Boo acting suspiciously, and decides to follow her. She sees Boo talking to Stephen and a woman in oddly old-fashioned attire, when someone walks right through the woman. Freaked out, Rory walks towards them and says there's something wrong with her. Stephen and Boo take Rory back to the flat and explain the Sight phenomenon to her. Rory puts the pieces together and figures out The Ripper is actually a ghost.

Rory and Jerome make up and talk about The Ripper. Unfortunately, Boo interrupts their impromptu make-out session. Once Jerome is out of earshot, she drags Rory to Goodwin's Court and strongarms Stephen and Callum into taking Rory Ghost spotting for the first time. They go Underground, and see the ghost of a jumper standing on the edge of the platform. Stephen talks about Ghosts some more, and this helps Rory realise that this Ripper isn's from the eighteen-hundreds. Stephen confirms it, and reveals that Rory is their only lead in the case.

The Ripper appears in the middle of Wexford's school dance to talk to Rory outside, and throws Boo in front of a passing car when she tries to intervene. An ambulance is quickly called, but Stephen drives up to the school before it to take Rory away from there.

That same night, a Ripperologist named Richard hosts a conference about the Ripper's fifth victim, Mary Jane Kelly, when the lights go out and someone pushes him aside to write "The Name of the Star is What You Fear." on his whiteboard.

Meanwhile, back at Goodwin's Court, Rory tells Stephen about her conversation with the Ripper, including how he was a Shade when he was alive. Callum arrives and it comes out what the most important sentence of the letter sent to the talk show host from earlier was: "I look forward to visiting the one with the sight to know me and plucking out her eyes."

The next day, Rory tells Jo what happened to Boo.

On November 7th, Rory asks Callum to show her how Shades take care of Ghosts. He does, and tells her his background too. Later, Stephen gives Rory a terminus for her to use.

The night of November 9th, The Ripper sends Rory a series of texts ultimately telling her to go to the place where he died. The Shades flank him, but are forced to give up their terminus devices in exchange for Stephen's life.

Rory leads the Ripper to Wexford, where Boo has the last terminus. Rory's last request is for The Ripper not to kill her in front of Boo, so they move to a bathroom down the hall. As a twisted thank-you, The Ripper slashes Rory across the abdomen, and slides her the terminus so she has a strong chance of lingering as a ghost.

Jo walks through the wall, grabs the terminus from Rory's hand and aims it at The Ripper, causing a powerful explosion, and causing both ghosts to vanish.

Rory wakes up in the hospital where Stephen has just enough time to warn her before Thorpe comes in to warn Rory to never say anything about what happened. Stephen does most of the talking during the conversation, but the M. I. B. stand-in seems satisfied and leaves. Stephen says a post-mortum man was found to play supernatural scrapegoat, so London is safe from its supernatural underbelly.

Callum and Boo come to visit Rory and say that the terminus devices don't work anymore. Callum says that's it--they're finished then, but Stephen and Boo both disgree. Rory says in her narration that it feels like she's part of them now.

Rory goes to sleep and wakes up to see her parents, who want to take her to Bristol. Jazza and Jerome visit Rory together almost immediately, and Rory's parents let them talk in private.

WhIle getting her stuff from Wexford, Rory accidentally makes a ghost in the girl's bathroom explode just by touching her.

End of Book One.



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