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Tick Tock takes place in present day southern California. There are two main characters in this novel. Tommy Phan is a Vietnamese-American who isn’t true to his Vietnamese roots. He is 30 years old, and a successful novelist living in southern California trying to live the "American dream." He is cursed by a witch doctor and is hunted by a demon throughout the story. Tommy is helped by Deliverance "Del" Payne. She is a Young blonde that Tommy meets in a diner. She helps him survive the night and helps fight the demon that is after him. The two fall in love during the events of the book and eventually get married.
Tommy Phan is on top if the world. He had just purchased a brand new Corvette and is living his fantasy of living the American dream. On his way home he calls his mother to inform her of his new car. After feeling guilty about the conversation, because he is living his dream and not living with his family and working at the family business. On his way home he stops at a diner to get something to eat, he meets a young blond.
After he pays he speeds up in his new car so he can arrive home.
When he arrives at his home he notices a small rag doll on his doorstep. Confused, but intrigued he picks up the doll and carried it inside. He proceeded up his stairs to his computer work with the doll still in hand and placed it up against a lamp. After he sits down he studies the doll more carefully and notices a small folded note with a pin holding its place next to the small hand. The note is written in Viennese, not knowing the language since he was eight, he puts it down and examines the doll and sees two stitched crosses where the eyes should be, one for the nose, one over the heart, and five for the mouth. He leaves the room and when he enters the doll isn't where he left it and there is a message on his computer that had not been there before. It reads " the deadline is dawn ". Scared by the note he tries to find the doll. When he picks it up off the floor, he props the doll next to the lamp where it had been before.
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"Tick Tock By Dean Koontz." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Oct 2018
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He starts to work on his books, about a detective named Chippen Wen a charming, brave man who can do anything if he has a gun and his fists. A small pop alarms him and he looks at the doll and notices that the stitching across the heart on the doll was not there. He picks up the doll and places his hand over the heart and can here ticking, almost like a heart beating. Another popping sound and he could see eyes and a mouth. Breaking out of the cloth that it was wrapped in the demon leaps off into the darkness. Not only is it quick and supernatural but it is intelligent. The demon creature is bent on killing Tommy and after trying to kill it he decides to run away.
He hops in his new Corvette and drives away. After a while he hears noises in the engine and realizes that the demon disabled his brakes and uncontrollably he is accelerating after he crashes he tries to escape seeing the demon mesmerized by the fire. He starts running without looking back. He sees Deliverance Payne, the blond he met at the restaurant, and they escape with a quick brush in with the demon.
After driving around he decides to go to his brothers so he can translate the message. He gives the note to his brother but the note is smeared and he will need a few hours to try and translate it. They decide to leave and not stay in fear of the demon. They decide to steal a car because her car was mysteriously missing. They go to her house to get weapons and ammunition. The demon has grown to the size of a human and has super strength. They get her dog and start to run away. After escaping from death, Deliverance decides to go on her boat to escape from the demon. They get to the island where her mother lives to get advice and a car.
Tommy meets her mother and they call his brother to see if he translated the message. The note was not perfect but he could make out most of it and it wasn’t good. Tommy's brother translated most of the message and it said if he stayed alive till dawn he would survive. His brother had called his mother for advice and she knew exactly what to do. Deliverance and Tommy raced out side and drove the mother's house. When they arrived Tommy's mother had already called Tay Maan Pan, the witch doctor who put the curse on Tommy, and were on their way there. After explaining to Tommy they the curse was only meant to scare him for trying to escape his real roots and trying to become an American.
They reached their destination and Tay was waiting for them. The demon could not harm him in the house in which the curse had been set. They waited till dawn. He survived till dawn and the demon slowly transformed into the Rag doll once again. Later Deliverance and Tommy got married and Tommy's mother accepted Tommy's American Lifestyle and his new wife.