Help for the Haunted

By John Searles
(William Morrow & Company, Hardcover, 9780060779634, 362pp.)

Publication Date: September 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Paperback

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It begins with a call one snowy February night. 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 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 searches for answers and uncovers secrets that have haunted her family for years.

Capturing the vivid eeriness of Stephen King's works and the quirky tenderness of John Irving's novels, Help for the Haunted is told in the captivating voice of a young heroine who is determined to discover the truth about what happened on that winter night.

Conversation Starters from


  1. After her parents' death, Sylvie learns from Father Coffey that her family was driven out of the church by rumors and gossip. But the Masons were very devout. How does the tension between their faith and their unusual activities play out? In what ways do the intersections of these two forces make sense?

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