Here at The Crime Vault we love spooky crime and thriller fiction, so we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a book that we are incredibly excited about: Help for the Haunted by John Searles.
Help for the Haunted is a suspenseful and deeply atmospheric coming-of-age story that’s perfect for reading groups.
Watch author John Searles talking about his novel to find out more…
Rave reviews for Help for the Haunted:
‘Part ghost story, part coming-of-age story, John Searles’ Help for the Haunted is a dazzling, dark portrait of a troubled family beset by the supernatural. Searles ratchets up the tension with every passing chapter, and delivers authentic and well-earned scares – all written through the lens of a lonely teenager searching for answers. The result is a novel both frightening and beautiful.’
‘I was completely consumed by Help for the Haunted; I read it in one sitting. I just can’t decide what I loved the most: its perfectly pitched teenage narrator; the ghost story that kept me riveted; the thriller that made me say, Oh, just one more chapter. John Searles has drawn a delicate portrait of the gap between what we know to be true and what we desperately want to believe. In fact, the only flaw I can find is that I’ve finished the novel – and that it’s going to be awfully hard for my next reading choice to measure up.’
‘Sweet, precocious, desperate Sylvie is a memorable young striver in the tradition of Scout Finch, and Help for the Haunted is an exceptional piece of storytelling… Fascinating…intricate storytelling, and it works beautifully…pitch-perfect narration’
‘A masterful genre mash-up that’s part paranormal thriller, part coming-of-age story, part crime fiction, Searles’ eerie novel about a young girl uncovering the mystery of her parents’ murders builds to a stunning and poignant conclusion.’
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.