Tommy Phan is a 30-year-old Vietnamese-American detective and novelist living in Southern California, and a chaser of the American Dream. He drives home his brand-new Corvette one day to discover a strange doll on his doorstep. It's a rag doll made entirely of white cloth, with no face or hair or clothes. Where the eyes should be, there are two crossed stitches of black thread. Five sets of crossed black stitches mark the mouth, and another pair form an X over the heart.
He brings it into the house. That night, he hears an odd little popping sound and looks up to see the crossed stitches over the doll's heart breaking apart. When he picks up the doll, he feels something pulsing in its chest. Another thread unravels to reveal a reptilian green eye --and not a doll's eye, because it blinks.
Tommy Phan pursues the thing as it scrambles away into his house -- and then is pursued by it as it evolves from a terrifying and vicious minikin into a hulking and formidable opponent bent on killing him.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Dean Koontz's The City.