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  • The Apollo Murders

  • By: Chris Hadfield
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 15 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,287 ratings)

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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

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).

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. 

"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

©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.

27 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.

21 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!

13 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

10 people found this helpful

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If u like historic fiction, space, & thrillers...

Really interesting story that will keep the listener entertained from start to finish. Well paced and just when you think you have an idea of where the book is going, the author throws in curve ball. Ray Porter is awesome as usual. Very good book that will make a great movie as well.

5 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.

5 people found this helpful

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Better than The Martian?! Maybe…

If you loved The Martian or any of Andy Weir’s other books, you NEED to give this one a try.

Disclaimer: I love space, and have Hadfield’s other books. I loved his autobiography as well, and was surprised when my husband told me that Hadfield wrote a fiction novel. So, naturally, we had to listen to this book since we’re space nerds. I also love science fiction, but nothing super easy/crazy because let’s face it: space is enchanting and ruthless, and we are no where near able to avoid its stark limits.

Anyway…the review.

The narrator does a fantastic job, on par with my favorite Star Wars narrator of the Timothy Zahn novels. Excellent choice in the narrator, as he has an excellent handle on Russian accents and the language.
The space science is real and done well, as expected given the author is an actual (retired) astronaut.
There was a shift from first person to third person perspective with the move from the prologue to the main story caught me a bit off guard, but I forgot all about that as the story unfolded, honestly. There is no other switching between first and third person as the story unfolds. And it is told from multiple angles without going back over the same points in time constantly from the different points of view.
The science or political backstory or character backstory explanations add a great deal to the story without overtaking and forcing the listener (reader) to spend pages and pages lost in seemingly irrelevant backstory or overwhelming explanations of the “science”, similar to another favorite space opera/sci-fi author of mine did in many of his novels. (Ahem)
The story itself is plausible, all the characters well crafted, and the physics explained in a truthful but interesting manner for the layperson. I love that he summarized at the end what was real and what was fiction.

Overall, Hadfield did an incredible job, and I really hope this is the first of several fiction books by him! I really would love to see Laura, Kaz, and Svetlana’s adventures in the future! ;-)

4 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.

4 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.

3 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.

3 people found this helpful