7 Steps to Midnight

Okay, did you see I Am Legend? I thought it was a cool flick. It was based on a book by an author named Richard Matheson. I only read maybe one or two books a year in sci-fi so I need a strong referral to grab one, effectively this movie was my strong referral. I went out and combed the bookstores for Richard Matheson books a few days after seeing the movie and settled on this one. I’m not an expert by any stretch in this genre, so take this critique with a grain of salt.

It’s the story of a mathematician named Chris Barton who is working for the government on some defense project in a highly secure facility on the Arizona desert. He’s stuck on the project and has been working long hours to try and make a breakthrough. He goes home sleepy one night and finds some impostor in his house who has stolen his identity. The impostor calls the “authorities,” but Chris escapes and ends up playing a global cat-and-mouse game with any number of sinister forces bent on killing him.


As you’re reading it, it feels like a horror/supernatural book with a little spy thriller thrown in. In the end though, it’s a spy thriller. All of the “supernatural” things were orchestrated by dark, government forces in order to break Barton out of his funk so he could figure out the last few niggling problems in the Star Wars defense project.

I was kind of disappointed with this realization. It was just a little bit of letdown because I expected some horror aspect. Matheson’s books are clearly in the horror section of the bookstore, but I’m hesitant to classify this on my annual list as horror. Now that’s not to say I didn’t have a whale of a good time reading it. It was a fast-paced novel and relatively exciting.

I’ve read better common man thrown into international intrigue books, but this one holds up. Not much else to say.