Help for the Haunted - John Searles

This book turned up on the office paperback swap shelf and I thought I'd give it a go. It's basically a young-adult novel with some paranormal overtones.

The book begins with 12-year-old Sylvie's parents being murdered in a church. For lack of a better way to put it, her parents are "ghostbusters" who also help possessed people ... and the book focuses on Sylvie as a witness to the murder and which one of her parents' clients did it.

Of course, nothing is quite that easy. And we need to hear about Penny, the creepy rag doll in the basement, quite a lot (shades of the Anabelle legend here), as Sylvie's precious horses are broken, and the doll moves around the house.

Subplots involving Sylvie's troubled teenage sister, Rose, and alcoholic Uncle Howie also keep the story moving.

Nothing is quite as it seems, of course ... and the revelations toward the end of the book did take me by surprise. IMO, it's worth giving this book a try if you like the genre and books for the intended age group.