In the newly published novel, Body Merchants, author Elaine Bossik dramatizes one of the world’s most recurring crimes: human organ trafficking and China’s practice of executing prisoners for their organs.
Ms. Bossik, a former New Yorker and medical writer, has been researching the illegal trade in human organs since the 1990s. She was intrigued by news accounts of cadavers stolen from funeral establishments, morgues and crematoriums in the U.S., and China’s practice of executing prisoners and harvesting their organs.
“I wanted my story to show how vulnerable people can become victims of the underground organ trade market,” says Ms. Bossik. “The main character in my novel, reporter Ellie Andrews, investigates a murder in a Virginia prison that leads her to a shocking discovery—the inmate’s organs and other body parts are missing.”
Ms. Bossik’s novel shows how the crime of organ theft can happen in America. Ellie Andrews risks her life exposing a sinister scheme to harvest and sell organs and tissues from prisoners. She uncovers a trade in human organs that reaches into law enforcement, government and her own family.
In the U.S., 104,0000 people are on the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list for a transplant, and 22 Americans die every day waiting for an organ (The Washington Post, March 22, 2023).
For decades desperate patients from all over the world have been traveling to China and other countries for life-saving organ transplants. According to a report in The Telegraph (June 9, 2023), 60,000 to 90,000 organ transplants take place in China every year. Evidence identifies Chinese prisoners as a major source of transplant organs. They are routinely executed when their organs are a match for patients willing to pay.
Human organs are only viable for short periods of time and must be transplanted within hours. But human tissues—skin, bones, veins, tendons, heart valves and corneas—can be stored and used in surgeries and the manufacture of medical products. “Cadavers are valuable commodities that support a multibillion dollar human tissues industry in the U.S.,” says Ms. Bossik. According to a report in the The Orange County Register (Dec., 2001), all the tissues that can be harvested from one body are estimated to be worth $220,000.
Body Merchants is fiction but is rooted in fact and based on the illegal worldwide market in human organs and tissues. Many large U.S. companies that are traded on the New York Stock Exchange every day benefit from the underground market. “In my novel,” Ms. Bossik says, “Ellie Andrews uncovers the money trail at the root of the underground market.”
Body Merchants will enlighten a large audience. The novel provides a dramatic perspective of the current illegal trade in human organs and tissues and exposes the dangers inherent in the for-profit prison system in the U.S. that make prisoners vulnerable to exploitation. Ms. Bossik expects that readers of her novel will wonder, “Could this happen here?”
For more information about Body Merchants or to schedule an interview, please contact Elaine Bossik at 561-364-2358, 561-376-4200 or email@example.com.
About the Author: Elaine Bossik is a novelist, screenwriter and editor. She grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and graduated from Brooklyn College (CUNY), where she earned BA and MS degrees. After teaching in the New York City school system for several years, she pursued a new career path, first as an advertising copywriter, and then as a medical writer and editor. She lives in Florida with her husband and family, where she enjoys Florida’s semi-tropical environment and pens her novels. The idea for Body Merchants grew out of the reality of human organ trafficking, and the big money behind it. In addition to Body Merchants, Elaine Bossik is the author of The Last Victim, a literary romance novel.
Title: Body Merchants
eBook and Paperback: 251 pages
Book Dimensions: 5×5 x 8.5
Publisher: Portable Shopper, LLC
Publication Date: January 2024
ISBN: paperback: 978-0-9842419-5-8 Price: $16.95
ISBN: eBook: 978-0-9842419-6-5 Price: $9.95