Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Help for the Haunted by John Searles

Help for the Haunted by John Searles

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 368
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  It begins with a call in the middle of snowy February evening. 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 than the rest, 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.

Nearly a year later, we meet Sylvie again struggling with the loss of her parents, and living in the care of her older sister, who may be to blame for what happened the previous winter.

As the story moves back and forth in time, through the years leading up to the crime and the months following, the ever inquisitive and tender-hearted Sylvie pursues the mystery, moving closer to the knowledge of what occurred that night, as she comes to terms with her family's past and uncovers secrets that have haunted them for years.

Kritters Thoughts:  Sibling rivalry, family issues and mystery made for a fantastically creepy book!  Told through the voice of a 14 year old, Sylvie is dealing with the loss of both her parents and she was there when they were killed.  While the present story is being told as they try to bring the killer to justice, a parallel story is being told from Sylvie's childhood up to the killing to provide the reader with all of the insight to this family.  

Sylvie's voice was fantastic, she was such a great narrator.  She was old enough to have opinions, but still naive and growing up.  The dual stories made for such a great read.  I loved how as she was trying to confirm the suspect, she was also coming to terms with her childhood and learning what may have been going on behind her back.  The things she learned and the twists that came at the very end were perfectly timed.

Reading this book as fall began was perfect, it definitely put me in the crisp weather mood!  I would add this book to your October TBR pile!  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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

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