Since 1996 Volume XXI
Janet Brennan
aka J.D. Stillwater


The Bodygrabber: A Tale of Greenwich Village

                                   by Richard E. Schiff

The Bodygrabber: A Tale of Greenwich Village

Richard E. Schiff

Publisher: Gilford Multimedia LLC

Binding: Paperback

ISBN: 9741717791955

List Price: $12.95


Review by Janet K. Brennan


THE BODYGRABBER :A Tale of Greenwich Village

By Richard E. Schiff

Review by: Janet K. Brennan


“Evil does discover

all, but to few comes harm,

still, cannot recover

from humanity this Alarm

yet evil itself, does disarm]

Self-love is its own, love,
falls to its own charm

as one deserves the other”

-Mary Barnet



This unique and spellbinding book by author, Richard E. Schiff captured my attention from the first paragraph and did not fail to entertain as well as frighten this reviewer to the very last sentence of the book.


Set in historic and often mysterious Greenwich Village, New York, Author Schiff takes us into the overtly dark and cavernous underbelly of one of the oldest sections of the city.  Schiff adeptly demonstrates his own talent of storytelling and weaves it together with his vast knowledge of Greenwich Village and its rich history.


A severed head is discovered in the cubby of a doorway.  This macabre find brings the New York City Police Department into the story for which we can be grateful, as it is a brief diversion in its somewhat humorous aspect from the almost unbearable horror Author Richard Schiff writes about.


Detective Captain Felix Bailey, worn and weathered from his job, quickly discovers himself as the protagonist in this book.  We know he will eventually solve the case, however we just cannot imagine how.  In addition, he really cannot do it alone as it becomes clear that there is a serial killer on the loose in the Village. More heads are found in compromising and mysterious places.  Soon his colleagues on the force, as well as the Mayor himself become involved in a crime they have no idea how to solve.  There is no evidence. 


Of course, every hero must have his heroine, and this book is no exception.  Her name is Reba Sinclair, and she is Felix Bailey’s dream come true in the form of a companion-in-sleuth by his side when he most needs one.

However, there is a very dark side to this murder case; one that no one is ready to identify or admit is a possibility.  It crawls beneath the streets, slithers in dank cellars of ancient Greenwich Village buildings, sits in the gutters and hides in the dark doorways of old and crusty Greenwich Village.


Enter stage left; the real antagonist in this gritty and suspenseful novel by Richard Schiff.   His name is Dr. Guert Vandersvoort and his macabre mischief began in Europe in the 18th century.  There is no liking this character even if one were to try.  Specifically, what I found interesting in this book is that Schiff actually manages to create a second antagonist by the name of Gotha and just when the reader begins to think that this second character is actually the real protagonist in this Poe-like tale, we begin to realize the complexities involved in trying to second-guess the author.


Author Schiff has written a book that not only frightened me but also kept my interest piqued until the very end.  Just when I thought I had reconciled my night frights, I turned the page and found that I was, in fact wrong. Close-knit paragraphs tie the story together right from the beginning, creating short chapters that kept me going from chapter to chapter. The In depth character development was exceptional.


Author Schiff has written a dark horror mystery filled with history lessons at every turn of the page.  It is, in fact written in three-dimensional Technicolor.  The reader never once questions whether it could be beyond the pale, so convincing is Schiff in his writing and storytelling.  If I had one thing that I would have enjoyed even more in the story, it would be to have Schiff go deeper into the back-story of these two malevolent characters, Vandersvoort and Gotha.  Perhaps a future project for Richard E. Schiff.


  This is an excellent book.  I would love to see this one on the big screen. 



Janet K. Brennan


Janet K. Brennan, aka JB Stillwater is an American award-winning author, Publisher, editor, artist and book critic. She lives in the foothills of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She has had thirteen books published, edits for Chicken Soup for the Soul and writes several columns for national magazines and newsletters.   Janet Brennan is the Editor in Chief and co-founder of award winning Casa de Snapdragon LLC Traditional Publishing Company and its off shoot, JB Stillwater Publishing, recently winning the New Mexico/Arizona Literary Award for fine publishing.  She has written articles for Rodale books, Prevention Magazine, TV Guide,  Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, overnight bestseller, “Think Positive” with CBS Anchor,  Deborah Norville as well as Jack Canfield’s “Chicken Soup Christmas,”  The Stars and Stripes, Europe, Daybreak Books, Cyberwit Publishing and Simon & Schuster  Janet currently serves on the Board of Directors as Vice President for the New Mexico Book Association.  She is also on the Board of Directors for the NM Women’s National Press Association as Program Chair for High School Competition and Awards.  Janet Brennan is also active in the Pub West Group, The New Mexico Book Co Op, and Southwest Writers.  Her on line Literary Magazine, JB Stillwater is viewed worldwide and features some of the finest poets in the world.








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Mary Barnet


Grace Cavalieri

Joan Gelfand

Janet Brennan