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The Organ Takers by Richard Van Anderson

“Robin Cook fans will relish this taut and powerful medical thriller set in Manhattan…Van Anderson makes good use of his own medical training in the service of a superior page-turner.”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“In this engaging novel, the author wields dynamic characters and intelligent prose like a skilled surgeon’s instruments.”
Kirkus Reviews

The Organ Takers


White Light Press Releases First in a Trilogy of Medical Thrillers

For more than three decades, Robin Cook has used his experience as a physician to bring authority to his novels of medical suspense, and now, former cardiac surgeon Richard Van Anderson has done the same. Using his knowledge of surgeons, surgical diseases, and the operating room, Anderson brings the sinister world of black market organ transplantation to life in his debut novel THE ORGAN TAKERS (White Light Press; November 2014). Storylines are drawn from current medical topics and include human organ trafficking, transplant waiting list abuse, human stem cell research, tissue engineering, and organ fabrication.

Set primarily in lower Manhattan, THE ORGAN TAKERS opens with former surgery resident Dr. David McBride in exile from the surgical community. While under the mentorship of transplant surgeon and biomedical researcher Dr. Andrew Turnbull, McBride was coerced into manipulating the liver transplant waiting list, then failed to bring such an egregious violation of moral and ethical standards to the attention of his superiors. Both men were eventually discovered, subsequently fired, and lost their licenses to practice medicine. Turnbull moved his lab to rural New Jersey, while McBride settled for operating on rats in a surgical research laboratory at an uptown university medical center.

Down but not out, McBride never gives up on his dream, and after applying to nearly every surgical residency in the country, he is rewarded with a second chance to complete his training and pursue a career in surgery. But, as David stands on the threshold of a new life, the malignant underside of his fellow man intervenes. Under the threat of violence to himself and his pregnant wife, David is forced to perform illegal organ harvests, in a makeshift operating room, hidden within a dilapidated meatpacking warehouse. Interfacing with a spook known only as Mr. White, McBride is unaware that Andrew Turnbull is behind his recruitment as black market organ harvester.

Unable to resolve the excruciating moral dilemma faced each time he invades the body of an unwilling victim, David fights to free himself from the situation and finds himself increasingly isolated as the dangers mount. As NYPD detective Kate D’Angelo closes the net around him, and the organ-snatching conspiracy takes his wife hostage, McBride must find help, and he turns to a most unlikely source: a drug dealer whose life David had saved while still a surgery resident.

THE ORGAN TAKERS is an exhilarating medical thriller that has both the good guys and the bad balancing precariously on the edge of good and evil. The story not only entertains, but ventures below the surface to explore how men of intelligence, drive, and compassion sometimes choose, or are forced, to venture down dark paths. Learn more about Anderson and his book at

THE ORGAN TAKERS: A Novel of Surgical Suspense
By Richard Van Anderson
White Light Press
Publication Date: November 2014
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-9907597-0-6
Hardcover price: 25.99
292 pages
Trade Paperback & E-book also available