Help for the Haunted, Paperback Book
2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780751555905

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The writing is good but I found the pacing very slow till the last 75 pages or so. There is a constant undercurrent of menace in the story of the demon hunter, his "sensitive" wife, and the two daughters, one "good" and one "bad." The story shifts forward and backward from chapter to chapter and this helped keep me guessing, but I think also slowed down the pace of the story--until the last 75 pages. The denouement of this murder mystery is totally unexpected, but like so many mysteries, full of red herrings along the way and then, towards the end, introducing new characters with unexpected motives. It's too long to be a YA novel, so I wouldn't recommend it to reluctant readers at my high school. Think it would appeal more to adults, and based on the average 4-star reviews, it has appealed to many. Just not so much to me.

Also by John Searles