7 STEPS TO MIDNIGHT by Richard Matheson

7 STEPS TO MIDNIGHT

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A legend of horror returns to the field after 15 years--and stumbles. Matheson's first occult novel since What Dreams May Come (1978) finds the author of I Am Legend and The Incredible Shrinking Man mining the same vein of altered reality that inspired his classic Twilight Zone and Star Trek scripts--but this new story, about a mathematician who gets enmeshed in a surreal spy scenario, offers mostly fool's gold. Government math-man Chris Barton leaves his office to find his blue Mustang missing--though the parking attendant swears that no such car has left the lot. Driving home in a borrowed car, Chris picks up a hitchhiker who ventures a wager: ``the security of your existence against your assumption that you know what's real and what's unreal in your life.'' Chris accepts--and finds in his house a stranger who claims to be Chris Barton and who calls in a threatening cop when Chris objects. Seriously confused, Chris hides in a motel and is accosted by the two men from his house--and, in self-defense, kills one. Desperate, the fugitive calls an old friend who sends him a ticket to London. But there awaits even greater mystery, involving attempts on Chris's life; spys galore; a woman who may be the ghost of a Roman aristocrat; a mystical, street-smart Indian; a mysterious microdot; and much talk of ``reality slippage''--with all this nearly arbitrary mayhem explained away in an absurdly far-fetched premise relating to Chris's top-secret math work. The model for this kind of fantastic suspense is G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday--but where Chesterton rent reality toward an inexorable climax, Matheson piles on the weirdness willy-nilly, albeit quickly and slickly. (Believe-it-or- not fans should note that, in what may be a dad-and-son first, the author's offspring, Richard Christian Matheson, is also publishing a September thriller, Created By, p. 808.)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-85409-9
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1993




MORE BY RICHARD MATHESON

FictionTHE BEST OF RICHARD MATHESON by Richard Matheson
by Richard Matheson
FictionDUEL by Richard Matheson
by Richard Matheson
FictionHUNTED PAST REASON by Richard Matheson
by Richard Matheson