From a New York Times bestselling author, astronaut, and fighter pilot comes a "full-throttle, adrenaline-laced espionage page-turner" (Jack Carr, New York Times bestselling author) and Cold War thriller perfect for fans of Top Gun and The Hunt for Red October.
Israel, October 1973. As the Yom Kippur War flares into life, a state-of-the-art Soviet MiG fighter plane plummets to an unexpected landing. NASA Flight Controller and former US test pilot Kaz Zemeckis watches from the ground—unaware that its arrival will pull him into a high-stakes game of spies, lies, and secrets that hold the key to Cold War air and space supremacy.
For within that plane is a Soviet pilot pleading to defect, offering a prize beyond value: the workings of the Soviets' mythical "Foxbat" MiG-25, the fastest, highest-flying fighter plane in the world. But trusting him is risky, and Kaz must tread a careful line. As Kaz accompanies the defector into the United States, to the military’s most secret test site, he must hope that, with skill and cunning, the game plays out his way.
Rich with insider detail and political intrigue drawn from real events, The Defector is a propulsive thriller from a growing master of the genre, filled with the nerve-shredding rush of aerial combat as it could only be told by one of the world's best fighter pilots.
"Wondering what to do until Top Gun 3 arrives? Don't worry, Hadfield's got it covered.” —Rowland White
“Brimming with detail and realism and full of pulse-pounding action.” —Mark Greaney
"Hadfield’s writing is superb. Fans of The Apollo Murders will seek out this one, but newcomers will also thoroughly enjoy it.” —Booklist
Praise for The Apollo Murders
“A Cold War thriller packed with cosmic action.” —New York Times
“An exciting journey into an alternate past.” —Andy Weir, author of The Martian
“Propulsive . . . a space race thrill ride.” —Newsweek
“An intelligent and surprising nail-biter that Tom Clancy fans will relish.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Real-life figures collide with fictional espionage in former astronaut Hadfield's gripping sequel to 2020's The Apollo Murders. In the fall of 1973, U.S. Navy commander Kazimieras "Kaz" Zemeckis is on a beach in Israel when he spots an unusual contrail in the sky. He calls his boss, Gen. Sam Phillips, to report the sighting, and Phillips discovers that Soviet Air Force pilot Alexander Vasilyevich Abramovich has landed his MiG 25 Foxbat—the world's newest, most dangerous aircraft—in Israel and announced his wishes to defect to the U.S. With Israel on the brink of the Yom Kippur War, Prime Minister Golda Meir offers to trade Abramovich and his ultra-valuable plane to the U.S. in exchange for arms and other supplies. There's just one question: is the defection real, or is Abramovich a double agent? Kaz proves resolute and resourceful as he ferrets out an answer, and Hadfield keeps the suspense steady before delivering a knockout air battle that brings everything to a white-knuckle close. Kaz's adventures continue to electrify.