Summary: It begins with a call one snowy February night. Lying in her bed, young 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 searches for answers and uncovers secrets that have haunted her family for years. Capturing the vivid eeriness of Stephen King's works and the quirky tenderness of John Irving's novels, Help for the Haunted is told in the captivating voice of a young heroine who is determined to discover the truth about what happened on that winter night. ~powells.com
Review: Help for the Haunted is a creepy mystery that is just scary enough but not too scary especially for someone like me. I will say this, if you have a basement you won't want to read this at night or alone in your house. There is also a young girl, Sylvie who is trying to come to terms with the tragedy and history of her family.
To understand Sylvie, you have to understand her sister, Rose. Rose is the "troubled" daughter and Sylvie is the "good" daughter for the Mason parents. Pigeon-holing their girls like this only ends up forcing the girls to act in ways that they might not have and it also colors the parents' view of certain situations. Their parents believe in living a clean, good life and helping others achieve the same thing. They believe they are helping people who have nowhere else to turn. By helping those unfortunate souls, they are also putting their daughters' lives at risk. Maybe not physically but definitely emotionally and mentally.
Mr. Searles has a way of making the book very atmospheric and eerie but it's because he doesn't describe every little thing but lets your imagination run with it. He gives you enough to set the scene and even then it's subtle. Each character in his book play a part but in the end it's not what you think. Just like Sylvie you think you know what's going to happen and yet you have no clue. You are led down a path and you can't turn back until it's too late.
Help for the Haunted is a creepy story and yet it is about one girls journey to find out the truth about her family. It is about growing up and learning who you are. It is also a book that ends with openness and while it might not work for some books, it definitely worked for this one.
As Mr. Searles is a new to me author, at some point I will have to check out his other novels. If you are in the mood for a great fall novel, then look no further than Help for the Haunted. While you are trying to decide to read it or not, check out this awesome book trailer!!
Final Take: 4.75/5
Thanks to TLC Tours for a copy of the book!
Here is the tour schedule:
Tuesday, September 17th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, September 18th: Girls Just Reading
Thursday, September 19th: Book Snob
Friday, September 20th: A Bookish Way of Life
Monday, September 23rd: Book-alicious Mama
Tuesday, September 24th: Alison’s Book Marks
Wednesday, September 25th: The Well-Read Redhead
Thursday, September 26th: BoundbyWords
Friday, September 27th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, September 30th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, October 1st: A Bookworm’s World
Wednesday, October 2nd: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Thursday, October 3rd: Lectus
Monday, October 7th: From the TBR Pile