The Shadow Cabinet
The Shadow Cabinet Official
Author: Maureen titty boi Johnson
Published by: Hot Key Books
ISBN: 1471401804
Publication Order
The Madness Underneath
Untitled Fourth Novel

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The Shadow Cabinet is the third book in the Shades of London series, written by Maureen Johnson.

Official Summary Edit

At the end of Maureen Johnson’s New York Times bestselling novel, The Madness Underneath, Rory, Callum and Boo are reeling from the sudden and tragic death of their friend and squad leader, Stephen. The Shadow Cabinet picks up where readers left off, and now Rory is convinced there must be a way to bring Stephen back. Meanwhile, new dangers arise: Rory's classmate Charlotte is missing, and Jane and her nefarious organization are clearly planning something big—with Rory as their most valuable asset. Time is running out as the ghost squad struggles to protect London and Rory fights to bring Stephen back.

Blurb Edit

Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.

Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they'll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself—and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret.

Plot Summary Edit

Pre-Shadow Cabinet Edit

Stephen Dene, after suffering an epidural hematoma, lays comatose on life-support. Thorpe and the three remaining Shades—Rory, Boo, and Callum—must make the decision to either keep him or take him off the machinery. They conclusively decide that he wouldn’t have wanted to be kept alive artificially; however, the fact remained that Stephen could be brought back if Alexander Newman's theory was correct—that if he were to be holding a termini with his death, he would return as a ghost. Callum, with his hatred towards ghosts, refuses this option, while the others are seriously considering the option.  Against Callum’s wishes, Rory holds onto Stephen’s hand as the plug is pulled.

Events of the Shadow Cabinet Edit

After Stephen’s death, the group try to think of ways to find him. Rory retreats into the corners of her mind to get a hint to where he is, but when she is shaken to reality by Boo, she finds that the machines and lights are whirling to life, then shorting out. In the general chaos, Thorpe removes Rory from the room and Boo sets off to see if Stephen’s ghost is in the hospital still.

When Rory and Thorpe get down to his car, Thorpe does his best to get as much information out of Rory so he can understand what is happening: Rory left Wexford after she found out she was going to be expelled; she went to Jane Quaint's house; a psychic near Wexford fell out of a window and died; Stephen found out Rory wasn't at Wexford and instructed her to return, but she refused; she returned to Jane's home; Charlotte joined them; Jane's friend, Jack, threatened to hurt people if Rory left, so she got in the car with them to go to a house in the country where they would perform a cult ritual and "defeat death"; Stephen crashed his car into theirs as they left with Rory and Charlotte captive and Stephen sustained his injury.

Thorpe takes Boo and Rory to his flat, and gets Rory to call her parents and tell them that she is safe. Rory can't go into public without drawing attention as a missing person (consequently doing so would mean her parents would take her into their custody and return to Louisiana without saving Charlotte from Jane's clutches). So Boo buys clothing and hair dye to change Rory's appearance and keep her from the public's eye. Meanwhile, Rory attempts to cut her hair into a bob, but ends up leaving the rest for Boo to finish. Thorpe has her write what she remembers so it can aid them with finding Charlotte. When Boo gets back, she dyes Rory's hair, trims it, and puts makeup on her.

They get no contact back from Callum, so they search for clues about Jane and why they took Charlotte. They have information on Jane's whereabouts before she was a 'psychologist' and find that she lives in the house that belonged to Sidney and Sarah Smithfield-Wyatt. In December 1973, they had left Jane their belongings (including the house). They declared their death through a suicide note that also stated that no one would be able to find their bodies. The police naturally suspected Jane murdered them, were unable to find any evidence of foul play, and we're forced to close the investigation in the mid 80's.

The Shades go to Stephen's flat, where Rory finds a box of personal information in his closet. Inside, she finds a notebook detailing meetings with a ghost at Highgate cemetery. Rory goes to talk to him, but when she refuses to terminate a pitiful ghost, her "informate" traps her in a tomb and tries to burn her alive. Fortunately, Jerome and a strange girl named Freddie rescue her.

Meanwhile, Stephen's body, which shows no clinical signs of death, but also none of life, is signed out of the morgue before an autopsy is proformed.

Rory, Jerome, and Freddie go to a nearby cafe to talk, and while Jerome buys drinks Freddie tells Rory that she has the Sight and wants to join the Shades. Then Thorpe shows up, and Freddie offers him a deal: she'll take them to someone who knew Jane and Sid and Sadie if she's allowed to join the squad. Thorpe agrees, and Freddie gives directions to a occult bookstore, where they talk to Clover, the owner, who has information about the past, but not the present.

Freddie meets Callum and Boo.

Then they get a lead and find Charlotte in a crawlspace under an old house. She's alive and unharmed, but acts almost too calm.

Freddie finds entries written by Stephen about the Shadow Cabinet.

Rory, Charlotte, and Thorpe go to a new house, where Thorpe is ambushed and knocked out. It turns out Jane gave Charlotte the Sight, and Charlotte is involved with her. She shows Rory Stephen lying unconscious in a bed upstairs, and Jane convinces Rory to proform a rite to bring Stephen back.

She succeeds, but Sid and Sadie follow them back. Sid slits Jane's throat now that she's not longer needed, and also terminates her when she tries to come back as a ghost. Sid and Sadie manage to escape.

The Shades manage to put the Oswulf Stone back in a safer place before ghosts overrun London, and celebrate by taking a night off.

Rory returns one last time to Wexford to give Alistair Boo's phone number in case something bad happens, then goes to her room to explain everything that happened to her to Jerome and Jazza.

Later, Sid and Sadie return to the occult bookstore and murder Clover, happily noting that he's gotten everything they need to get started, before they drive off.


  • The book is dedicated to Johnson's dog, Zelda.
  • The release date of the book was moved back a season due to Maureen Johnson's ill health.

Alternate CoversEdit

Shadow Cabinet