One of his classmates, Katherine, tells him of a job that might be available with a company called Health Solutions. The job would involve working with organ donations and helping to match individuals who need transplants with people who are willing to donate. The only problem is that Health Solutions is a front for black market organ donations. Simon needs the money though and he convinces himself that he will still be helping people.
Things are fine for a few months, but then Simon is involved in arranging for the company's first liver transplant. Lenny Pellegrini, a former NFL football player, needs a new liver. Nevermind that Lenny is an alcoholic and has other problems as well. He can't get on the transplant list, but his friend is willing to foot the bill for a black market liver. Simon finds a donor, a young woman named Maria Campos, who flies to New York from Los Angeles in order to facilitate the operation. All seems like it's going well - and then it doesn't. Everything falls apart and Simon and Maria are running for their lives. Buying and selling human organs is highly illegal and someone has a lot of money at stake.
This book had a lot going on, a number of issues it touched on - maybe too many. There were black market organ transplants - illegal certainly. There was the question of how well the NFL has supported and taken care of players - ex-athletes with depression and debilitating problems because of past injuries and multiple concussions and also those players' subsequent abuse of alcohol and drugs. There were teenagers who were abused or traumatized. There were unhappy people around every corner and moral questions that each character faced and dealt with.
I found the book highly readable, but the characters not particularly likable. I either despised them or was frustrated with them and their choices. That being said, the story was fairly gripping and at under 300 pages, moved swiftly. I'd probably try this author again. I give this book an almost two thumbs up.
Thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours and the publisher for sending me The Dismantling. You can see the rest of the tour here. Brian DeLeeuw's website is here.