Help for the Haunted
It begins with a call one snowy February night. Lying in her bed, fourteen-year-old Sylvie Mason overhears her parents on the phone across the hall. This is not the first late-night call they have received, since her mother and father have an uncommon occupation: helping 'haunted souls' find peace. And yet something in Sylvie senses that this call is different from the others, especially when they are lured to the old church on the outskirts of town. Once there, her parents disappear, one after the other, behind the church's red door, leaving Sylvie alone in the car. Not long after, she drifts off to sleep, only to wake to the sound of gunfire. As the story weaves back and forth through the years leading up to that night and the months following, the ever-inquisitive Sylvie searched for answers and uncovers secrets that have haunted her family for years ...Help for the Haunted is a psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, told in the captivating voice of a young heroine who is determined to discover the truth about what happened that winter night.
'A dazzling, dark portrait of a troubled family ... frightening and beautiful.' Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl
I was completely consumed by Help for the Haunted; I read it in one sitting... John Searles has drawn a delicate portrait of the gap between what we know to be true and what we desperately want to believe. In fact, the only flaw I can find is that I've finished the novel - and that it's going to be awfully hard for my next reading choice to measure up. JODI PICOULT, International Bestseller Fascinating...intricate storytelling, and it works beautifully...pitch-perfect narration... Help for the Haunted is an exceptional piece of storytelling. Washington Post You won't be able to put it down. Marie Claire A masterful genre mash-up that's part paranormal thriller, part coming-of-age story, part crime fiction, Searles' eerie novel about a young girl uncovering the mystery of her parents' murders builds to a stunning and poignant conclusion. Entertainment Weekly A rich and tense suspense story...with elegant insights. Khaled Hosseini, Author of The Kite Runner An expertly-wrought, coming-of-age story with a healthy dose of creepiness... The chills deliver, but the depth of the story is what really sets this book apart. Amazon.com, Best Book of the Month
John Searles is the Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan and regularly appears on US television promoting and reviewing his favourite books. His essays have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Daily Beast and many other US national publications. He lives in New York City.