Help for the Haunted: A Novel Review
"You know what can make a person possessed, Sylvie? It's not Satan or Lucifer or any of that nonsense. Do you know what it is?... Love and hate. Greed. Revenge. Pride. Those things..." -John Searles, Help for the Haunted
John Searles's Help for the Haunted is an eerie tale of a bizarre family, their dark secrets, and their youngest daughter's mission to find justice and understanding in the midst of chaos.
After a late night phone call and a visit to an empty church, widely known demonologists, Sylvester and Rose Mason, end up dead. A year after the mysterious and violent deaths of her parents, Sylvie struggles with piecing together the perplexing clues about the night that changed her life. Could her older sister Rose have more to do with her parents death than she thought? With the help of investigators, an estranged uncle, a journalist, and her own strong spirit, Sylvie must find her parent's killer even if it means the complete collapse of all that she has left.
In this harrowing thriller Searles plays on our innermost fears while carrying us through the haunted past of one unusual small town family. With moments that follow in the foot steps of a true suspense writer, Searles creates a great story that will leave you frantically turning the page until the very end.
In the age of special effects in movies and flashy graphic novels printed on alluring pages, it's sometimes difficult to bring a strong shock value using only written words but this novel defeats the odds. By using the voice of an innocent young teenager trying to find herself while facing the harsh reality of life without her protectors, Searles brings us a thrilling novel that causes suspense, curiosity, sadness, and even anger. Being a reader that usually sticks to the likes of the classic Mary Higgins Clark collection for suspense and thrills, I was very glad that I decided to pick this up at my local library. Although I was hesitant because I'm not easily impressed, I was pleasantly surprised that this book intrigued me on so many levels. Searles does an amazing job of creating something that will stick with you long after the last page. Not only was this book attached to my hand for two days, the shock and awe never wore off. I had to occasionally put it down to reflect on what I read and tell someone about it. I recommend this novel to those who are interested in the paranormal and murder mysteries alike. I happen to be oddly obsessed with both and it's safe to say that all of my interests were indulged. This was a page-turner I never want to forget!
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