Poorly Written

7 reviews

Help for the Haunted: A Novel (P.S.)
by John Searles

Published: 2014-07-15
Paperback : 400 pages
1 member reading this now
12 clubs reading this now
4 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 7 of 7 members

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 ...

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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.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2013: Late one snowy night, Sylvie Mason hears her parents talking on the phone. A little later, they drive with Sylvie to a church, where--as Sylvie sleeps in the car--they are murdered in the church’s basement. The question of who killed Sylvie’s parents is only the first of many mysteries that unfold in John Searles’ Help for the Haunted, an expertly-wrought, coming-of-age story with a healthy dose of creepiness. Searles takes his time introducing us to his characters--Sylvie, her older sister Rose, their demonologist parents, and a handful of suspects--but in a very calibrated way, he doles out chills and family secrets that heighten the tension with each turn of the page. The chills deliver, but the depth of the story is what really sets this book apart. Your parents are never gone from you… Sylvie remembers her father saying. And for some, that’s just another way of being haunted. --Chris Schluep


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Book Club Recommendations

Our luncheon
by ruckus (see profile) 10/28/15
We had an Autumn like lunch with a shrimp cocktail and then a lovely salad of greens, chicken, walnuts, apples, cranberries and a lovely apple dressing. Dessert was pumpkin pie. Also in the book the girls existed on ice pops our facilitator had ice pops.
Yor book club might be able to Skype with the Author
by ccoyne (see profile) 10/17/14
John Searles has launched 50 Book clubs in 50 states. He wants to visit or skype with a club in each of the 50 states. We were the Massachusetts book group and he was wonderful! He spoke with us for over an hour about writing and Help for the Haunted. Go here to sign up: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1E91WTm_tJX8yViUaiOijKRncWaPzcWRA4OaP33ez3as/viewform He is still looking for groups in the following states: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennesee, Vermont, Washinton, Wyoming.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Great writing. Had potential."by Ashley M. (see profile) 07/21/20

The story dragged a little bit. I loved the cliff hangers at the end of each chapter because they made me want to keep reading, but ultimately it was kind of anticlimactic. The book had sooo much potential... (read more)

by Kamille K. (see profile) 07/21/20

  "Kept e Going!"by Patty W. (see profile) 12/22/18

This was what I needed. A different story that grabbed me enough to want to know what would happen next. This was entertaining and smart. The characters were interesting and believable. All were infallible.... (read more)

by Karol D. (see profile) 03/20/17

  "Help For The Haunted"by Elaine B. (see profile) 10/28/15

We had a Halloween theme Book Club Meeting. Our facilitator had a luncheon catered for the event. We had it at our clubhouse on the veranda and we had a lovely lunch and a lively discussion about the... (read more)

  "Coming-of-age story with a hint of mystery & paranormal"by Vivian T. (see profile) 04/30/15

HELP FOR THE HAUNTED is not your typical coming-of-age story, but it is an intriguing story. Add in elements of mystery and the paranormal and it becomes so much more than a basic coming-of-... (read more)

  "Help for the Haunted"by Veronica P. (see profile) 04/27/15

This book never really connected for me, even though it was well written (reasoning for 3 stars), I just didn't feel the need to bother with ever turning the page. It might be that supernatural beings/forces... (read more)

by Ann D. (see profile) 04/27/15

  "A coming of age novel spiced with mystery and the paranormal"by Catherine C. (see profile) 10/17/14

I loved this book, although it was very different from my usual reads. Sylvie is a 13 year old girl who is trying to come to terms with what happened the night her demonologist parents were murdered.... (read more)

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