Book Review: The Red Market

| Thu Jul. 14, 2011 6:13 PM EDT

The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers

By Scott Carney


Tragedy struck one evening in 2006, when an American girl, part of a student group the author was mentoring on a trip to India, fell from a rooftop and died. As Carney negotiated with police and insurance companies to get her body home, it struck him that "every corpse has a stakeholder." In his subsequent multi-year investigation of the international trade in blood and body parts, he talked to an Indian bone trafficker banished from his village for robbing graves, followed the trail of a kidnapping-adoption ring from Chennai to a quaint Midwestern town (a story first published in these pages), and exposed brokers who bought kidneys from desperate refugees in Indonesia. A fascinating read, The Red Market sheds needed light on what Carney calls "the darkest corners of our economic world."