Help for the Haunted: Book summary and reviews of Help for the Haunted by John Searles

Help for the Haunted

By John Searles

Help for the Haunted
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2013,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

John Searles's Help for the Haunted is an unforgettable story of a most unusual family, their deep secrets, their harrowing tragedy, and ultimately, a daughter's discovery of a dark and unexpected mystery.

Sylvie Mason's parents have an unusual occupation—helping "haunted souls" find peace. After receiving a strange phone call one winter's night, they leave the house and are later murdered in an old church in a horrifying act of violence.

A year later, Sylvie is living in the care of her older sister, who may be to blame for what happened to their parents. Now, the inquisitive teenager pursues the mystery, moving closer to the knowledge of what occurred that night—and to the truth about her family's past and the secrets that have haunted them for years.

Capturing the vivid eeriness of Stephen King's works with the compelling quirkiness of John Irving's beloved novels, Help for the Haunted is that rare story that brings to life a richly imagined and wholly original world.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Readers of this unsettling coming-of-age story from Searles (Strange but True) may feel the need to whistle past the graveyard by the end." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Searles expertly manages his cleverly conceived plotline as he alternately withholds and doles out key information in tantalizing fashion." - Booklist

"Starred Review. Searles (Boy Still Missing; Strange But True), has written a truly creepy, smart psychological thriller that will keep readers turning pages until the very end. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"A somber, well-paced journey, wrapped in a mystery, that will keep readers guessing until the revealing conclusion." - Kirkus

"Wonderful...A coming of age tale that is poignant and touching...and will scare the living hell out of you. I loved every page of this novel: I loved the sisters and the story and the page-turning mystery. I just may never go downstairs into my basement again." - Chris Bohjalian, bestselling author of Midwives and The Light in the Ruins

"I was completely consumed by Help for the Haunted; I read it in one sitting. I just can't decide what I loved the most: its perfectly pitched teenage narrator; the ghost story that kept me riveted; the thriller that made me say, Oh, just one more chapter." - Jodi Picoult, New York Times-bestselling author of Lone Wolf and The Storyteller

"A quickly paced and boldly rendered ghost story, Searles's dark novel about a young girl haunted by the murder of her parents had me up reading all night. And checking the doors. I found it impossible to put down." - Sara Gruen, bestselling author of Water for Elephants and Ape House

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Author Information

John Searles Author Biography

John Searles is the Deputy Editor at Cosmopolitan where he oversees all book excerpts and reviews for the magazine. His essays, articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and other national newspapers and magazines. He lives in New York City.

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