IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Bernice Gottlieb’s latest book, Havoc-on-Hudson, hits close to home. An Associate Broker for William Raveis Legends Realty Group in Irvington, her fiction thriller is a cautionary tale about the violent crimes Realtors are experiencing across the country.
"According to the Department of Labor and Statistics," she said , "there were more rapes, robberies, and homicides of Realtors since 2008, than of police officers killed in the line of duty! It's a fact that most people are unaware of."
Gottlieb has written two other books. Take My Children: A Love Story, published in 2010, is a nonfiction account of her involvement with international adoption . Gottlieb has also been a representative to UNICEF and was a 1998 recipient of the Medal of Honor from Ellis Island for her work with children in South Korea and India. Her other book, The Dove In The Tea Room, published in 2012, is a family memoir that shares experiences which can be passed down through the generations.
Gottlieb started writing after the death in 2007 of her husband of 54 years,"to keep away the sadness." Ferdinand Gottlieb was a well-known international architect. They have three children and six grandchildren.
“When Realtor Beverly Carter was murdered in Arkansas a couple of years ago, I took the nonfiction pages I had already written about the dangers of our profession, and tore them up,’’ Gottlieb said. Carter was the impetus for turning the book around into a thriller.
"It was such a sad, unnecessary death of a young mother and I believed a thriller would interest more readers,'' Gottlieb said. "Because most people have no idea what dangers we Realtors face, I carefully researched the current situation and kept the story exciting, concise and easy to read. The book may be fiction, but the dangers are very real, indeed."
Gottlieb’s book centers on Maggie Mitty, a Hudson Hills Realtor who is caught off guard when police seek her help in solving an attempted sexual assault on a colleague. Mitty realizes she was also in danger after she discovers another agent murdered in a Jacuzzi, and she is shocked that a psychopath is targeting real estate agents.
She hopes this book will raise awareness among her peers to take necessary precautions and will impact on house buyers and sellers as well.
“You need to know who you’re dealing with at all times,’’ Gottlieb said. “If one Realtor reads it and is more careful into who they let into open houses, the work writing this book will have been worth it."
Gottlieb knows what she's talking about. She's been a Realtor for 31 years and had her own company, Hudson Shores Realtors in Irvington, for 20 years before merging in 2012 with the Legends Realty Group. She continues to serve buyers and sellers throughout Westchester and Putnam Counties. Click here for her real estate website.