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Interview: How Terrifying Is Space, Really? Astronaut Chris Hadfield's Debut Thriller Shows Us

'Don't spend your time doing stuff that isn't important to you.'
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  • The Apollo Murders
  • 'Don't spend your time doing stuff that isn't important to you.'

Publisher's Summary

An exceptional debut thriller and “exciting journey” into the dark heart of the Cold War and the space race from New York Times best-selling author and astronaut Chris Hadfield (Andy Weir, author of The Martian and Project Hail Mary).

The year 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 OctoberThe 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.

“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)

©2021 Chris Hadfield (P)2021 Mulholland Books

What listeners say about The Apollo Murders

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Was dubious at first but happily surprised

As the title suggests, I was dubious at first, mostly because it was written by a former astronaut, whom I’ve always pictured as incredibly intelligent and capable people without much in the way of imagination. I was very wrong, and happily so.
The story is detailed without being overly so. The story is also pretty original, as far as I know at least.

Ray Porter, as always, was amazing. I’m fact, speaking of prejudice, I don’t even consider listening to books that are performed by Ray Porter or RC Bray. That has severely limited my options but I just can’t get into a story read by anyone else. They’re just so good at what they do that everyone else seems to be simply reading a book out loud, while they really do perform every aspect of it.

At any rate, it’s an amazing experience all around and well worth the credit.

19 people found this helpful

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A MUST for any hard sci-fi, retro space nerd!

This is a hard sci-fi book set in the vintage Apollo moonshot days, that makes 'The Martian' look soft. It is one of those audiobooks that you just have no choice but to listen to straight through, regardless of how many days you already went without sleep. The story has that adventure / exploration feel that you just can't walk away from because you just need to know what happens next, what DID the Russians find on the moon? It is even worse (in terms of causing more sleep deprivation) if you happen to be one of those uber space nerds that becomes a giddy child when you see a new video from Scott Manley or Tim Dodd appear on Youtube, You WILL be starting up Kerbal, to replicate at least one orbital misdirection and interception. Best of all, this book really gives you a new view on the Apollio Era that is really hard to obtain if you aren't from that generation.

14 people found this helpful

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Interesting mystery with space flight details

The narration was excellent of course, ray porter is one of my favorites. the story was compelling, although it took a long time to get to the mystery/murder part. I mostly agree that fans of The Martian will enjoy this book. it has a similar level of technical details but lacks the creativity that was required in the Martian. the ending was very dramatic but felt a bit rushed and tied up everything a little too neatly, I would have liked to hear more about some of the characters and what their lives were like after. I did like how the POV switched between America and Russia and it helped to keep in mind the politics of the era. all in all a great listen!

8 people found this helpful

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Blah blah blah

Boring, boring, prong
with lots of over descriptive details filling up space - literally Couldn’t keep my attention

7 people found this helpful

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Great book!

What a great story. The “real” factors give the story enough reality to make the story very encompassing and very enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful

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Fabulous adventure!

Extremely well written. Even the technical parts were understandable and well distributed. Great insight into the complex and surprising workings of motivation and narcissism. Plus, the reader feels very much a part of the story. Excellent read.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent Read!

So glad I went with my gut feeling! Congratulations Mr Hadfield and all involved! You had me from beginning to end.

2 people found this helpful

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A fast-paced historical fiction with plenty for space nerds

I bought the book because of my interest in the author (probably the same for most who pick up this book). I was happy to find a well-constructed story that wove in real trivia from the space program, as well and interesting “what ifs.” It had me hooked until the end and I enjoyed the appendix of real people and programs at the end.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lc
  • 10-22-21

I gave up after 2.5 hours

if you can't deliver within that time-frames, you've already wasted too much of my time.

it just didn't seem to be going anywhere.

2 people found this helpful

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What a bad book

The first third of this book had me wondering why it wasn't a best seller. the last two thirds smelled like garbage. So predictable. Immature. I should be more cautious about positive reviews when there are so few.

2 people found this helpful