From New York Times bestselling author and astronaut Chris Hadfield comes this exceptional thriller and "exciting journey" into the dark heart of the Cold War and the space race (Andy Weir, author of The Martian and Project Hail Mary)—soon to be a major TV series from Altitude and Sylvester Stallone’s Balboa Productions.
1973: a final, top-secret mission to the Moon. Three astronauts in a tiny spaceship, a quarter million miles from home. A quarter million miles from help.
NASA is about to launch Apollo 18. While the mission has been billed as a scientific one, flight controller Kazimieras "Kaz" Zemeckis knows there is a darker objective. Intelligence has discovered a secret Soviet space station spying on America, and Apollo 18 may be the only chance to stop it.
But even as Kaz races to keep the NASA crew one step ahead of their Russian rivals, a deadly accident reveals that not everyone involved is quite who they were thought to be. With political stakes stretched to the breaking point, the White House and the Kremlin can only watch as their astronauts collide on the lunar surface, far beyond the reach of law or rescue.
Full of the fascinating technical detail that fans of The Martian loved, and reminiscent of the thrilling claustrophobia, twists, and tension of The Hunt for Red October, The Apollo Murders is a high-stakes thriller unlike any other. Chris Hadfield captures the fierce G-forces of launch, the frozen loneliness of space, and the fear of holding on to the outside of a spacecraft orbiting the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour as only someone who has experienced all of these things in real life can.
Strap in and count down for the ride of a lifetime.
"Packed with cosmic action… Featuring undercover spies, scheming Russians and psychopathic murderers, sometimes all at once, it teems with authoritative details." —The New York Times
“Nail-biting . . . I couldn’t put it down.” —James Cameron, writer and director of Avatar and Titanic
“Not to be missed.” —Frederick Forsyth, author of The Day of the Jackal
“An explosive thriller by a writer who has actually been to space . . . Strap in for the ride!” —Gregg Hurwitz, author of Orphan X
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This thriller set in the world of space aeronautics feels chillingly real. No surprise—it was penned by an actual former astronaut. It’s 1973 and tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union are running high. The Apollo 18 moon mission is well underway, and America hopes it will provide some insights into a not-so-secret Russian space station. But when the mission goes deadly wrong and three astronauts are trapped in space, flight controller Kaz Zemeckis finds himself in a race against a ticking clock, technical problems, and a potential mole in his own ranks. We were glued to shuttle-era astronaut Chris Hadfield’s suspenseful story. The Apollo Murders has all the political backstabbing and cloak-and-dagger intrigue you’d want from a Cold War thriller, mixed with a good, old-fashioned “...IN SPAAAACE!” adventure story. And these two elements go together brilliantly.
Bestseller Hadfield (An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth) makes his fiction debut with a spectacular alternate history thriller. In 1973, the Apollo 18 moon mission, which was canceled in real-life, becomes a military reconnaissance operation aimed at gaining intel about a new Soviet space station, Almaz. Because Almaz, in effect "a huge, manned camera," threatens U.S. national security, the Apollo 18 team is charged with trying to sabotage the station, but one Apollo astronaut's death in a plane crash puts that goal at risk. The tragedy triggers an investigation into its cause and whether the astronaut's aircraft was deliberately tampered with. Houston flight controller Kaz Zemeckis works desperately to keep things on track, unaware that someone involved on the American end is a Russian mole. Hadfield keeps readers in suspense about the identity of the Soviet agent and how the cold war confrontation in space will play out. His mastery of the details enables him to generate high levels of tension from just a description of a welding error, which cascades into something significant. This is an intelligent and surprising nail-biter that Tom Clancy fans will relish.
The mix of facts and fiction made this an enjoyable read. The detail and realism covered from launching a rocket, intercepting another satellite, going to the moon, landing and coming back to earth made this tale seem real. Bravo to the author for giving such a realistic account of the Apollo program and having the deft to add mystery and intrigue with a fabulous story.
Perfect for anyone into space and thrillers!
I wanted to like this…
…but the plot was just too hard to believe. As one who grew up following the space program, starting with Mercury, after reading this if it were non-fiction, I would be sorely disappointed in those I consider heroes.