Ralph Roberts knew his wife was going to die, no one told him and if all the tests and doctors weren’t enough to confirm it, the ticking of the deathwatch he started to hear from within her convinced him.
The summer before Carolyn died Ralph started taking increasingly long walks to escape the ticking. Carolyn didn’t really notice, she was heavily medicated against the pain most of the time and was unaware when Ralph left the house.
It was on one of these walks that Ralph discovered there was something very wrong in Derry, although he didn’t yet know what.
Soon after Carolyn’s death Ralph began to suffer with insomnia and things got even stranger. Ralph started to see auras and strange little bald men.
Ralph’s neighbor, Ed starts behaving very badly, abusing is wife, picking fights and talking about Centurions and dead babies in barrels.
To make matters worse a leading feminist is holding a rally in Derry and the town is divided between those who are pro life and those who are pro choice. All the while, Ralph is still seeing auras and wondering if the insomnia is affecting everyone and if they are all losing their minds.
Neighbors begin turning on neighbors and Ralph discovers the little bald men are the fates, but one has gone rogue. The aura’s come with streamers that trail up from them, Ralph calls them balloon strings, and when your time comes, the little bald doctors cut the string and end your life. The rogue bald man does not follow the plan and Ralph is enlisted to help stop a tragedy that would change the course of fate. Ralph and his friends team up to stop the rogue bald man, and learn that every action has an equal and opposite reaction and the next time the death watch is ticking, it could be your won.
This book did not get great reviews but I found it very entertaining.