cover image Breed


Chase Novak. Little, Brown/Mulholland, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-19856-1

Advanced reproductive technologies prove just a new form of mad science in this timely, engrossing medical thriller from the pseudonymous Novak (Scott Spencer, Endless Love). Wealthy Manhattan couple Alex and Leslie Twisden are incapable of having children, it seems—until they avail themselves of the services of Dr. Kis, a dodgy fertility specialist in remote Slovenia. Dosed with a concoction of extracts from the tissues of several aggressive animal species (including a cannibal fish that feeds on its young), Alex and Leslie produce twins, Adam and Alice, though at the cost of horrific side effects to themselves. Ten years later, Adam and Alice run away from home, terrified of their parents, who subsequently seek out Dr. Kis in order to get some answers and save their family. Novak writes with an energy that propels the reader through the novel’s unlikely science and subplots. He also winks enough to suggest that this all could be a black comedy on modern parenting. (Sept.)