By Brian DeLeeuw
Author’s Website: www.briandeleeuw.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Una
How much of yourself are you willing to sell?
Brian DeLeeuw hits that sweet spot between literary and commercial suspense with his brilliantly adept, ingeniously plotted novel—a chilling, fast-paced drama that urges readers to question the meaning of atonement and whether revenge might sometimes be the only way we can liberate ourselves from our past.
Twenty-five-year-old med school dropout Simon Worth is an organ broker, buying kidneys and livers from cash-strapped donors and selling them to recipients whose time on the waitlist is running out. When a seemingly straightforward liver transplant has an unexpectedly dangerous outcome, Simon finds himself on the run. In order to survive, he must put aside his better moral judgment and place his trust in a stranger who has a shocking secret.
This is a fast read story that is thought provoking, action packed, with twists and turns that keep the reader spell bound. A movie could be definitely in the making.
The story is narrated by Simon, a 25 year old medical school dropout. He lost his mother as a young child and his sister to drowning. He had not told his father that he had dropped out of school when a friend got him a job with an undercover company that sets people up who need liver and kidney transplants with people willing to sell their body parts. He leaves med school because he has trouble with autopsying a female cadaver. During these very graphic sessions Simon’s past comes back to haunt him.
Simon is given the task by his boss Da Silva to find a liver donor for Lenny Pellegrini, a severely depressed and alcoholic ex NFL player. Lenny’s friend also a former player has offered to pay for the procedure however must convince Lenny to do this for his wife and family.
Simon finds Maria who he thinks is a single mother in need of money. Since it is illegal to sell organs for transplant Maria must be coached to be presented as a cousin of Lenny. After the operation things start to go wrong and Da Silva tells Simon to fix the situation before too many questions are asked. Simon ends up having to trust Maria as both their lives are threatened and learns she has had a violent past and is definitely not be who he thought she was. In the end Simon ends up with his father and must decide what inevitably he will do with his life.
The reader is left pondering all the bigger issues that the story evokes. Some of the scenes are vivid and certainly require a strong stomach. I was honestly surprised that I not only finished the story but actually enjoyed it.