Published by Plume on April 28th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
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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. shocking secret.
Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Plot: The shadowy world of for-profit organ donation is the background for this offering from Brian DeLeeuw, where a donor isn’t all she’s made out to be and the patient doesn’t really want to be saved. And when money talks, sometimes people get swept along whether they want to or not, and they willingly close their eyes to the ugly realities they’d rather not see…
The Characters: Simon Worth is a med school dropout who becomes an organ broker through a combination of circumstances and lucky connections. He’s got issues (who doesn’t?), but tries to make this gig work – at least until he’s paid off his debts. He’s not sure what to make of Maria Campos, he’s just happy to have been able to make a match for Lenny Pellegrini.
Never mind that Maria’s story isn’t as presented, and never mind that Lenny didn’t really want this to begin with. In other words, Simon’s just going through the motions – and it eventually gets him in trouble…
The Story: The Dismantling isn’t a thriller as much as it is an introspective questioning from the viewpoint of a bit player. There’s tension over whether the proverbial crud will hit the fan, but it’s not as if there are bodies littering the background. We have a “hero” who really isn’t very heroic, except where Maria’s concerned. We don’t really have a villain, the organ broker is just playing a part in a capitalist tradition; it’s pointed out multiple times that this is a transaction that benefits both parties.
I thought The Dismantling had a great concept, but it was told in a dispassionate manner and I didn’t really care about any of the characters, whether they walked away, whether they get found out. However, if you’re looking for a glimpse of a world where money can buy life, give this a whirl.
drey’s rating: Pick it up!
Have you read The Dismantling? What did you think? And if you haven’t, read on to win your own copy!
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of The Dismantling for you. This one’s open to US or Canada residents only; no PO Boxes please. To enter, fill out the form below before June 11th. Good luck!