The Apollo Murders

By Chris Hadfield

Read by Kimm Culkin

Publisher's notes

A final, top-secret mission to the Moon. Three astronauts in a tiny module, a quarter of a million miles from home. A quarter of a million miles from help. That's the setting for this adventure in space.

As Russian and American crews sprint for a secret bounty hidden away the lunar surface, old rivalries blossom and the political stakes are stretched to breaking point back on Earth. Houston flight controller Kazimieras "Kaz" Zemeckis must do all he can to keep the NASA crew together, while staying one step ahead of his Soviet rivals. But not everyone on board Apollo 18 is quite who they appear to be.

Colonel Chris Hadfield is the author of three international bestsellers: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, You Are Here and The Darkest Dark, plus the new thriller novel, The Apollo Murders. The Apollo Murders is full of high tech adventure, danger and people pushed to their limit, at a pivotal moment in history.

But if you didn't know this before now, Chris Hadfield also happens to be a Canadian icon. A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Colonel Hadfield’s many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy and was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. He has flown three space missions, building two space stations, performing two spacewalks (EVAs), crewing the Shuttle and Soyuz and commanding the International Space Station. Oh, yes, and occasionally, he's been known to dabble in some music and play a tune for his friends and family.

The reader/champion

Kimm Culkin will read The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield. Another experienced library employee, Kimm works at the West Grey Public Library but also has a lengthy history with the Youth Literacy Council South Grey Bruce. She will represent West Grey.

Introduction

BY KIMM CULKIN FOR SOUTHGREY.CA — If you’re looking for a well-muscled techno-thriller reminiscent of the genre in the 70s, a wild ride back into the heady days of the Space Race and the Cold War, The Apollo Murders by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is the book for you.

The real Apollo 18 mission was a casualty of budget cuts and Apollo 13 fallout. In The Apollo Murders it is a mission that’s caught in the grip of powerful forces: the space programs of Soviet Russia and the US, and the political backrooms, spy networks and security manoeuvres of the Cold War in 1973. Hadfield’s love of science and technology informs the entire story, so explanations of jargon, protocols and machinery surface regularly, occasionally at the expense of the pace. But his experience as a seasoned spaceflight veteran and commander means that we, as readers, get a roadmap to the labyrinthine movements within the space program of the day and of international relations of the era.

The space program of this thriller is relatively enlightened, with a black astronaut (the first in real life heading into space in 1983), and a female Soviet cosmonaut (Valentina Tereshkova was the first IRL, soloing in space in 1963), but it is still most definitely white-man-heavy, lending authenticity to the story.

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