Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review: Help for the Haunted by John Searles

I can blame books for many various idiosyncrasies that rule my life; such as lack of food when a book sale starts, my dry sarcasm when moody, and the lack of restraint when faced with piles of elegant covers and pages. I can also blame Stephen King for my fear of Clowns,  J.K. Rowling for the disappointment of never receiving a letter from Hogwarts, and I now blame John Searles for NEVER buying a rag doll (or any type of doll) ever again. 

I think about those words a lot, and I think about their spirits too.
If you believe in those sorts of things.
I do and I don't believe.
But mostly—mostly, mostly—I do.

This is the story of the Mason Family. They aren't just any family - you see, because, Mr and Mrs Mason (Sylvester & Rose Mason) are ghost hunters. By splurging the supernatural for financial gain - think ghost-believers conventions, people who believe they themselves, or family members, are possessed.

It isn't till one night when their youngest daughter, Sylvie, is woken up to her parents having a fight downstairs. A normal occurrence since her eldest sister Rosie was sent away. They pack little Sylvie, half-asleep, into the car and park outside a church. Between sleep and wake, Sylvie hears two gunshots... and her parents never come out.

Told through Sylvie's eyes - past and present - the reader slowly begins to uncover just how insane the lives the Mason's led were.

What would happen when Stephen King and Gillian Flynn had a literary child... It would be John Searles.  Help for the Haunted is best described as Supernatural meets Night Film, a darkly written novel about ghosts and murders all gift-wrapped with lies. Once you have gotten over the shock a creepy doll named Annie, or the missing young girl said to be possessed, or the witnessing of your parents murder in a church, only after all this will Mr Searles settle you into an easy read before hitting you with a twist that will make your head spin so fast it may just fall off.

Beware this is not for the faint-hearted readers...


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