Ticktock, a novel by best-selling author Dean Koontz, has as its protagonist a Vietnamese-American named Tommy Phan who one day finds a mysterious doll on his doorstep. He soon discovers that the doll contains an evil creature, which is determined to kill him.
After taking the doll into his study, it soon bursts open to reveal an evil creature who seems intent on killing Tommy. A message is left on his computer screen saying he has until dawn, but what will happen at dawn, Tommy does not know. After fate brings a meeting with Del (Deliverance Payne), a woman who appears to speak somewhat cryptically, they embark on a race to flee the creature.
After numerous hours, during which the creature gets larger and larger, Tommy finds out that the creature was summoned by one of his mother's friends as a way to punish him for not staying true to his Vietnamese roots. Finally, the creature disappears at dawn, and the novel finishes with the wedding of Tommy and Del.