Breed by Chase Novak
The book opens with a blissfully happy couple, Alex and Leslie, living a life of luxury in an Upper East Side townhome filled with family heirlooms and antiques. Life is wonderful except for one thing. They can’t get pregnant. There doesn’t seem to be any good explanation for their childlessness but they have tried everything they can find and think of and their longed for child does not appear. Leslie is giving up and is begging for them to adopt. Alex doesn’t like the idea of adoption; he wants an heir of his own flesh and blood. At wit’s end they run into a couple they have met at various support groups. They are disheveled and almost manic, but she is quite obviously pregnant. Alex and Leslie beg them to reveal their secret and after much negotiating they do: Dr. Kis in Slovenia.
Dr. Kis’s methods work – Leslie is pregnant. But at what price? What is happening to Alex and Leslie? Have they become a threat to the babies they sacrificed everything, their wealth, even their humanity, to conceive?
What starts as mildly disturbing becomes horrific as the book progresses. It really centers on the desperation of infertile couples and the shady medical practices which could come about to prey on that desperation. I found the biology fascinating – while not described in any real detail it left a lot open to your imagination. Which is probably scariest of all.