Review: The Organ Takers – Richard Van Anderson

The Organ Takers
Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: White Light Press; First edition (November 17, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0990759717
ISBN-13: 978-0990759713
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A disgraced doctor is on the verge of rebuilding his medical career, when he’s approached to help a mysterious organization harvest organs. To refuse, may cost him his life, or worse, the life of his family.


David McBride – Lab Technician, with a background in donor organ removal.
Mr. White – A Mysterious figure controlling David’s strings.


This story begins dark, and proceeds to get darker from that point on. We initially see a man named Michael Smith. He sits up, and notices a pain in his side. He stumbles to the street where he collapses. He’s taken to the emergency room, where they determine he’s recently had surgery to have a kidney removed. There are problems however, and he succumbs to problems from the botched surgery. It goes on fairly unnoticed, until other homeless people end up with their kidneys missing.

David McBride is a former transplant surgeon. Due to a scandal with a fellow doctor, he is fired, and reduced to working as a lab technician. Just as he’s gotten a second chance at life, a mysterious stranger approaches David with a dark offer. It turns out however, that David doesn’t really get a choice in the matter. At this point, the story begins to remind me of a medical thriller version of The Firm. You know who the bad guys are, but David has no clue.

The medical details are very well done, and well explained. I actually learned a lot about the process involved in kidney donations. While the subject matter is a bit dark, I’d recommend it for older teens and adult audiences.

I found myself really enjoying this story, and running along in David’s footsteps as he tries to find a way out of the mess he’s in. But will he get out, or will those he loves suffer. To find the answers to that, you’ll have to read the book. So go out, grab a copy, and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Richard Van AndersonI’m a former heart surgeon and now write full time. I have a medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine; performed my general surgery residency at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Louisiana; attended a two-year research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland; and trained in cardiothoracic surgery at New York University. Following my training, I served as a surgical attending at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and held a joint appointment as Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Seattle Veterans Administration Hospital. My writing instruction includes Internet-based courses, night classes at the University of Washington, and I earned an MFA degree in creative writing from Pine Manor College in Boston, where I was mentored by a distinguished faculty, including New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane. I live in Bellevue, Washington, which is a suburb of Seattle.

During my surgical career I violated every cavity and laid hands on every organ in the human body. I’ve drilled holes in the skull, amputated big toes and excised, resected, patched and repaired every body part in between. I know human anatomy, physiology, the pathology of human disease and the carnage that can be wreaked upon the human organism by his fellow man, by machine and by Mother Nature. I’ve spent countless hours standing across the operating table from egomaniacal surgical attendings, and I’ve personally witnessed high-achieving members of a noble profession become corrupted by the quest for notoriety and wealth. This vast experience, combined with a deep understanding of story and character, has resulted in works of fiction that will not only entertain, but will venture below the surface to explore how men of intelligence, drive and compassion sometimes choose, or are forced, to venture down dark paths.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Larissa at Claire McKinney PR for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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One Response to “Review: The Organ Takers – Richard Van Anderson”

  1. Richard Van Anderson Says:

    Hi Rick. Thanks for taking the time to review my book. I appreciate your effort, and I’m glad you enjoyed the story.