False Memory by Dean Koontz (Book Summary)

Martie Rhodes lives with her husband, Dusty Rhodes and their dog, Valet. She is a video game designer and she accompanies her bestfriend, Susan Jagger to the doctor weekly for the treatment of her phobia. She had been taking Susan to her doctor, Dr. Ahriman for multiple sessions and although she can’t see any progress, Martie was assured by the doctor that she’s doing better.

After taking Susan to her doctor, Martie started having visions and fears. She started fearing sharp objects. She imagine her car keys making it’s way to Dusty’s eyes. She became afraid of any sharp objects and what she can do with it. She began fearing herself and asked Dusty to tie her up to keep him safe. On that same day, Dusty’s younger brother, Skeet, attempted suicide by jumping off the roof. Skeet was saved by Dusty and was taken to a clinic. Skeet mentioned that he was told by an angel to jump off, and that’s why he did it. While Dusty was getting things for Skeet in his apartment, he noticed a name continously written on numerous notepads. Dr. Yen Lo. When Dusty asked Skeet who Dr. Yen Lo was, Skeet replied, “I’m listening” and waited for instructions. Dusty found it odd and believed that it is related to what’s happening to Martie, even though he could not find the connection yet. He also noticed something wrong with himself: there were minutes he could not remember, there were moments he skipped.

While Martie was still trying to manage his own developing phobia, Susan was struggling in her own apartment as well. Susan shared with Martie previously that she felt like someone visits her everynight, uses her, rapes her, and leaves his semen on her undies. She suspects that it is Eric, but she doesn’t have any evidence. To find out who it was, she set up a camera.

Susan found out who it was — it was Dr. Ahriman. He would call Susan through the telephone, speak the activating name and she would say, “I’m listening” and wait for instructions. Once accessed and given instructions, Susan functions like a robot, dependent on Dr. Ahriman’s orders. The video tape was Susan’s evidence, however on the way home, Dr. Ahriman figured out why Susan kept on looking up. He recalled seeing something that kept on blinking. He figured it out and went back inside to get the camera. On his way back, Susan called Martie and left a message, telling her that it was Dr. Ahriman. She pleased Martie to call her back. When Susan hang up the phone, she received a call and thought that it was Martie, however it turned out to be Dr. Ahriman, so he accessed her again. That time, Dr. Ahriman decided to end Susan’s life by instructing her to commit suicide. She left a note that suggests her deppression. She then slashed her wrists in the bathtub.

Without any clue that Susan is dead, Martie scheduled an appointment with Dr. Ahriman to have her own condition checked. She was diagnosed with Autophobia, the fear of oneself. While in the clinic, Dr. Ahriman accessed Martie and worsened her phobia. While their session was ongoing, Dusty read a novel outside. While reading it, he came across the name Dr. Yen Lo. The book he was reading was about brainwashing. He started figuring things out especially when he noticed that time was skipped. The names to access them were found in the book, after saying those names, a haiku will follow. They read books of haiku and waited for that one haiku that made sense. After finding their haikus, they removed each others access. Dusty was able to remove Martie’s phobia.

They found out that Susan was dead, and they were sure that Dr. Ahriman did it, but they can’t prove it. They have to save Skeet as well because the clinic he is staying was partly owned by Dr. Ahriman. To gather more evidence about Dr. Ahriman’s crime, Dusty and Martie went to Santa Fe. It is where Ahriman did one of his crime. He brainwashed and hypnotized kids into confessing that the school owner was harrassing them. One of the kids committed suicide, and although many people know that it was done by Dr. Ahriman, they do not have enough evidence to back up their claims.

While in Santa Fe, Dr. Ahriman burned Dusty and Martie’s house down, including the tape that contains Susan’s confession about Dr. Ahriman. Also, they gathered recordings of those witnesses against Dr. Ahriman, however, they were taken by two guys, working in an institute that is well connected with Dr. Ahriman. Out of desperation, Martie killed the two guys. After killing them, feeling so guilty, they went back to California, where they decided to face Dr. Ahriman.

Upon meeting in the doctor’s office, Dr. Ahriman tried to access and give them instructions without knowing that both Martie and Dusty already removed the access. The doctor instructed them to go to Malibu and kill Dusty’s family. Dr. Ahriman later on noticed that they were just pretending, so he ordered another one to do the killing in Malibu.
To confront and protect his parents, Dusty and Martie went to Malibu where they discovered that his stepfather was a huge critic of Dr. Ahriman. While discussing this, Eric arrived, already under the doctor’s orders. Dusty’s younger stepbrother, Junior was able to kill him. While in an argument on who’s taking the blame for Eric’s death, they found out that Dusty’s mother and Dr. Ahriman had a child, who was killed by their own mother because she has down syndrome, and she wanted a perfect child. It was also revealed that their mother tried killing Skeet because she was told that he will have problems at a later age.

Furious, confused and sad for Dusty and Martie because they lost everything, Skeet took the car and the gun to go to Dr. Ahriman and kill him himself. While on the way up to the Doctor’s office, Skeet came across one of the patients. The same patient who saw Dr. Ahriman kill Skeet and Fig (they were alive because of the bulletproof jacket) . She does not fully trust Dr. Ahriman, even though the doctor tried to charm her. She has a rare condition where she thinks that her idol Keanu has a dark side. She ended up shooting Skeet, and killing Dr. Ahriman.

After Dr. Ahriman’s death, his crimes were discovered and his vault was accessed. The keanuphobic woman that killed him went through trial but was able to bail. Skeet and his friend Skeet travelled while Dusty and Martie rebuilt the house that was burned down. They can now live in peace without the doctor’s intervention.

Finished reading on: June 16, 2018

 

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Published by

Eva Harmoni

There was one night when the rain poured so hard, and i didn't want it to stop. Weird, because i was afraid and amused by the sound of the rain and thunder. The sound of it made me less alone that night. The next day i woke up to find my collection of journals soaked. I keep it near the window to make sure no one could read it. The writings can still be read but i was devastated by the damage. I wanted it preserved but i don't want it published. Still amused by the rain but afraid of the wrath it could bring to my journals, i created this blog.

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