Help for the Haunted

By John Searles
(William Morrow & Company, Paperback, 9780060779641, 360pp.)

Publication Date: July 2014

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback

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A Boston Globe Best Crime Novel of the YearAn Entertainment Weekly Top Ten "Must List"Winner of the American Library Association's Alex AwardPublishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist starred reviews

Sylvie Mason's parents have an unusual occupation: helping "haunted souls" find peace. After receiving a phone call late one snowy night, they are lured to an old church on the outskirts of town, where Sylvie falls asleep in the car and is awoken by the sound of gunshots.

Orphaned on that night, Sylvie comes under the care of her reckless, distant older sister, still living in the rambling Tudor house that guards the relics of her parents' past. As she pursues the mystery of their deaths, Sylvie's story weaves back and forth between the time leading up to the murders and the months following, uncovering the truth of what happened that night--and the secrets that have haunted her family for years.

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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