Book Review: Breed

Alex and Leslie Twisden enjoy a loving marriage, lucrative careers and a beautiful old home on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. While the envy of their friends, the Twisden’s inability to conceive means their happiness is far from complete. Despite spending a half a million dollars on every known infertility procedure, the Twisdens’ remain childless. When a couple from the infertility support group turns up expecting their first born, Alex pressures the husband to reveal their secret. Although Leslie has called it quits and doesn’t want to undergo any more treatments, humiliation and letdown, Alex insists they fly to a doctor in Slovenia for one last attempt. The couple endures an incredibly painful series of shots followed by a nasty beverage that lives up to the promise when Leslie conceives twins.

Ten years later, young Adam and Alice lead carefully controlled lives. Alex or Leslie always walk them to and from school, they never have sleepovers or play dates, their diet is bland and each night, Adam and Alice are locked into their rooms. In an attempt to find out the reason for the strange growling, snarling and assorted sounds of violence coming from his parent’s room every night, Adam plants an unused baby monitor and starts listening in. What Adam discovers is so frightening he develops a plan for Alice and him to run away. As Adam and Alice try to evade their parents while living on the streets, they run into a small group of children whose parents underwent the same procedure. The children are the result of an experiment that went horribly wrong and the twins only chance of survival will be to stay away from their parents at all cost.

Scott Spencer, writing under the pseudonym of Chase Novak has served up a deliciously chilling horror on par with Stephen King or Alan Dean Foster. The premise seems so harmless at the onset but as Alex and Leslie discover, the object of obsession comes with a price. The tension continues to ramp up as the parents condition worsens and the children begin learning enough to question everything they knew. Although it is easy to see where things are going, the excellent writing sweeps readers along on a wild and increasingly desperate ride to the very last page.

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