Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when you're on the hunt for your next bookish conquest because we've always got the lead on something of interest. Take today's title for example...
It comes to us via TLC Book Tours (Hi, Trish!) and William Morrow Paperbacks, and stars a Fiction title that can be best described as haunting. It's perfect for the reading time of year we're fast approaching if you like seasonal reads (you know, creepy in October, thankful in November, etc), but works perfectly fine anytime you're in the mood for a little mystery and a dose of the other side. Ready to greet today's guest and featured title? Here we go! Turn your night lights on and hunker down, today's book of choice is...
Help for the Haunted
About the book...
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.
This is a curious read indeed. From the moment you turn the first page til you reach book's end, you bounce between past and present, puzzling your way to a future best described as uncertain.
The parents calling reminded me of a recent (semi) film, The Conjuring. For those that have seen it, you know where I'm coming from; for those that haven't, it is based on the true story of the Warrens. The Warrens were/are a couple of paranormal investigators to sum them up only they're not like you see on television; they're old school, demon casting out, bringing peace to tortured souls type of folks. Whether you believe in what they do is entirely up to you, much like the Masons in the book. The children know what their parents do, they endure the taunts and torments from kids at school, and when things go horribly wrong one snowy night, they band together to bring about a justice they see fit...but is it REAL? That's for you to decide as you put the pieces in place. Moving forward...
There is much to consider in this book from start to finish. First off, its name. The title itself can be interpreted several ways, the obvious being the souls the parents were aiming to help, but as you read, you see it in a new light. Perhaps the haunted needing help are not those that linger in between, but those left behind; those facing the loss and the truth day by day in the here and now...such as Sylvie and her sister. Next, we have the characters themselves. Are they really just victims of circumstance? Even from the beginning it's easy to see that one of them isn't at the very least...but just how far does her betrayal go and perhaps the better question is, WHY? Let us not forget what happened to Dot, their babysitter, in the opening chapters. ~shudders~ Finally we come back to the overall setting....the house or rather the basement. Lights that go on when they've been burnt out for ages. Noises that occur when no one dares to step through its door. Knowing what's down there to a certain degree but never being able to make sure things are still as they were because it was their parents domain and only they knew how to keep it. *cue creepy spooky music*
In conclusion, an interesting read that will satisfy fans of multiple genres. From Fiction to Mystery, Paranormal to New Age, you've got a smattering of it all penned with a skilled hand. Recommended read for older teens through adult readers; whichever way your beliefs bend, there's no need to give the kiddos bad dreams before their time.
About the author...
John Searles is the author of the national bestsellers Boy Still Missing and Strange but True. He frequently appears as a book critic on NBC’s Today show and CBS’s The Early Show. He is the Editor-at-Large of Cosmopolitan. His essays have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other national newspapers and magazines. He lives in New York City and can be found on Facebook and also on Twitter: @searlesbooks.
Special thanks to Trish at TLC Book Tours for the chance to host this stop as they make their way through the blogosphere. (THANKS!) For more information on this tour as well as those forthcoming, be sure to stop by their official site, friend them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter. This title was released in paperback via William Morrow Paperbacks just this month, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
This being a blog tour and all, be sure to stop by the other sites for a more well rounded look at this curious read, including yesterday's stop over at Sara's Organized Chaos, and Monday's with missris. Oh and if you happen to belong to a book club, GOOD NEWS! Book clubs that sign up to chat with John Searles about Help for the Haunted could win a tote bag of books for each member of their book club! Find out more details about John Searles’ goal to speak to a book club in each state of the United States over at Book Club Girl!
Until next time....happy reading!