Back in the ’90s, if you were a man drinking in a hotel bar or gambling at the tables of Vegas, and you allowed yourself to be led upstairs by a seductive woman, this is the message you might have found scrawled in lipstick across the mirror (or on your chest) as you awakened in a bathtub full of ice. A telephone would have been conveniently left near the tub, you would’ve called 911, and a well-informed EMS operator would have instructed you to check your back in the mirror. If you saw two 9-inch slits on your sides, the operator would tell you that your kidneys have been stolen, and to climb back in the ice and wait for paramedics to arrive.
Far fetched? Now it is, but at the time it garnered the attention of various law-enforcement agencies, the National Kidney Foundation and The United Network for Organ Sharing. The rumors have since been debunked and relegated to the realm of urban legend, but there is in fact a black market for human organs, and there are documented cases of kidneys, half-livers, eyes and skin being bought, sold and stolen. Is this not the stuff of good fiction? An over-the-top story that contains an element of truth? Real life imitating art? I thought so, and that’s why I’ve brought the organ-snatcher legend to life in my first novel, The Organ Takers. To learn more and read an excerpt, click here.