The Baby Merchant.

Position:Book review

**** The Baby Merchant By Kit Reed Buying babies.

In a world of the near future, international borders have closed, fertility rates have dropped, and adoptions are difficult to obtain. With babies such precious commodities, those lucky enough to find one pay a dear price. Tom Starbird, an adoption agent who steals babies for the wealthy, is ready to leave the business. Then a high-profile journalist and his infertile wife blackmail him into doing one last job. Starbird sets his eyes on pregnant art student Sasha Egan, who lives in a home for unwed mothers. But when the unborn baby's father appears, Sasha, sensing ulterior motives, goes on the run.

Tor. 336 pages. $24.95. ISBN: 0765315505

Hartford Courant ****

"In Reedland--the fantasy world where the author's characters live, breathe, and inevitably screw up--half the fun is viewing how surreal events send her anti-heroes bumping into each other like so many demented protons.... Reed literally brings new meaning to the term 'penetrating satire.'" OWEN MCNALLY

San Francisco Chronicle ****

"Too many writers sentimentalize pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting, but Reed presents the full range of joys, sorrows, inconveniences, and pleasures attendant upon bringing a new life into the world.... By the time the novel's climax arrives, Reed has orchestrated the central conflict for maximum impact." MICHAEL BERRY

St. Petersburg Times ****

"The future Reed posits is so uncomfortably close to our present that only a few very believable details separate them.... The Baby Merchant is first and last a smart, sometimes startling thriller, graced with an interesting bad guy and with Sasha, whose metamorphosis from self-absorbed student to...

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