A smart novel focusing on two moral issues: organ trafficking and, literally, getting away with murder.
Simon Worth, a medical school dropout in his mid-20s, has committed himself for a time to Health Solutions, a sleazy company that brokers organ transplants between clients willing to pay top dollar for a kidney or liver and people so desperate for money they’re willing to undergo dubious surgery to make a buck. The company is run by Peter DaSilva, who greases wheels by altering medical records, laundering money and letting Simon deal with most of the dirty work. All is moving along smoothly, if not virtuously, until former football player Howard Crewes tries to arrange a liver transplant for Lenny Pellegrini, a broken-down ex-athlete who for years has been abusing his liver with drink. Worth finds a compatible donor in Maria Campos, a young woman from Los Angeles who wants to start a new life in New York—and the $150,000 she can earn for donating 70 percent of her liver to Lenny would be an excellent start. But things start to unravel when, several days after the transplant at a disreputable New York hospital favored by Health Solutions, Lenny takes his own life, and the hospital feels obliged to start an investigation into how Lenny got his new liver. Maria desperately wants to keep the money, and she convinces Simon that DaSilva, who always needs to be in control, might be planning to kill him to hush up the scandal. Both Maria and Simon have dark secrets that they share with each other—and Maria starts to develop a plan that involves persuading Simon he might need to kill DaSilva before DaSilva can get to him.
The novel moves at a brisk pace, and DeLeeuw provides back stories for his characters that make them complex and convincing.