If you are wondering who was Leigh Nichols, it was none other than Dean Koontz doing a bit of Richard Bachman-ing. The Door to December book, written in 1988 is a small thriller gem, filled with ghosts and Paranormal activity, is a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon in a hammock.
It all starts with the Mother, being called to identify the remains of her genius and very villainous ex husband who was involved in hyper-secret research involving mind control and conditioning.
For those wondering, conditioning is associating new thoughts to different actions, words or objects (like Pavlov and the dogs). Her ex husband and his fellow researchers were involved with the occult as well and it looks like they managed to actually bring something back from the beyond.
The subject of their experimentation were a few innocent grad students at first whom they used to perform perverse sexual acts, but the conditioning never lasted as the subjects original personality resurfaced after a few weeks. They advanced their research and when the Mother decided she wanted to split up with her obsessive husband, he ran away, emptied their common bank accounts and stole her most precious property: their daughter.
The unscrupulous researcher used the young girl in experiments of the worst kind, locking the girl in a sensory deprivation chambers, making her float in the tank for prolonged periods of time, catheterizing her and feeding her intravenously.
When the police do find them, they are all dead and the girl is found walking naked and in a catatonic state a few blocks away.
The Mother is called and she goes through a wild range of emotions: happy that they found her little girl after 6 years of searching and saddened by the state of her beautiful angel and angered by the man who caused all this.
The detective in charge is motivated to find the killers as they seem to be targeting the girl now, eager to close all leads and silence all witnesses.
The Mother takes the girl home and tries to hypnotize her into remembering what had caused her catatonic state, but the girl seems to be used to hypnosis and is scared about a door opening that she cannot close. The door to December.
Weird things start happening around the house – the cat is scared and fighting invisible attackers, cupboard doors open and close on their own and the radio sings louder and louder until it starts sending a message:
Something.. Something coming… Somethin is coming… Death … torn apart … murder
As this is not scary enough, there is a real possibility that something IS coming. The people who have been killed so far have had their faces smashed in, their bones shattered, nothing like being beaten with a baseball bat but more like a tremendous force had been applied to their bones and muscles.
Is it a ghost? Is it a poltergeist? Is is a being from another dimension? Is it the nearly-autistic girl who is causing all of this?
Read on and you shall find out.
About the author
Dean R. Koontz or Dean Ray Koontz was born on 9th July, 1945 in Everett, Pennsylvania. He studied in Shippensburg State College and graduated from there. After that he worked as a teacher for an anti-poverty campaign in the 60’s. He used to write in his spare time but hasn’t started his writing career and served as a high school English teacher outside of Harrisburg. In the 70’s, he began his full-time writing career with the support of his wife, Gerda. His initial work comprised of novels from various genres including romance and thriller under a large number of pseudonyms.