Harry Lyon is an officer for the Multi-Agency Law Enforcement Special Projects Center in the city of Laguna Niguel, California (in other words he's a police detective handling difficult cases, like serial killers and gang violence). He is compulsively neat, overly organized, always follows every run and regulation to the letter and has never been late to work a day in his life. His partner, Connie Gulliver, is the opposite, she's lives her life minute to minute, she's disorganized, leaves messes to be cleaned up, has piles of papers all over her half of the office they share, and is often late for work. The two could not be more different, but they're about to go through an experience that will bond them forever.
It's a typical California day and Connie and Harry are having lunch at a restaurant when a man with a gun enters and begins shooting. The event in it's self is not unheard of in the line of duty, but a vagrant Harry encounters after the shooting says something strange to him. "Ticktock Ticktock, you'll be dead in sixteen hours" the vagrant says, and repeats "Dead by dawn". Harry is confused but thinks nothing of it, until other strange events begin to make Harry question his own sanity.
If you're a Dean Koontz fan you'll recognize some of the themes in this book, small group of people bond why trying to overcome unimaginable evil, with an abundance of description and detail of there trials and tribulations. These themes have obviously worked well for Koontz, you can't enter a grocery store of even a gas station without finding at least one of his novels for sale (he has more the 100 of them), but this time the description and tedious detail proves to be too much. The book is a bit slow and it's sometimes hard to stay engaged with the switching back and forth between the different characters.That's not to say that the book is not entertaining, it is. There are some great scenes in which the evil entity stalks and toys with Harry and company.
Another common theme in Dean Koontz books is a helpful and lovable dog (usually a lab, this time a medium sized mut), I really love dogs so I always welcome the help of "man's best friend", but it becomes a little bit redundant as well.
After the long descriptions and the switching of narratives and story lines, the reader really wants a big show down at the end, what we get instead just seems to fall short.
Bottom line: The book is decent, if you're a fan of Dean Koontz it's worth a try, if not, there are certainly other books out there (and certainly some by Dean Koontz) that are more worth your time.