Morrow, May 2004, 23.95, 240 pp.
Thomas Fairchild, the minister at the First Parish Church in Aleford, Massachusetts, is tired of taking care of his flock, exhausted from their demands and needing a change of scenery. He arranges to teach at the Divinity School in Cambridge which means his wife Faith and her two children have to find a place to live. It is fortunate for them that Professor Ted Robinson needs a housesitter while he is on sabbatical in California.
While working at a homeless shelter, Faith meets Richard Morgan an old boyfriend who disappeared from her life before she met Thomas. He tells her that he is working undercover so that he could write a book about the plight of the homeless. They meet several times before he again disappears from her life. While worrying about Richard she finds a diary about a woman who lived in the house she is now occupying, a wife who was imprisoned by her husband. Little does she know that reading that diary gets her kidnapped and almost gets her killed by a person who has everything to lose if the contents of the journal are made public.
Anyone who wants action should give THE BODY IN THE ATTIC a miss as it dwells more on the emotions of the heroine and the woman in the diary. Although the plot meanders in places, readers get a good understanding what it means to be a minister's wife who doesn't want to be a reflection of her husband's career choice. The mystery subplot is exciting because it takes the audience totally by surprise.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner